Tethered bilayer membranes containing ionic reservoirs: Selectivity and conductance

Amer Chemical Soc
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Langmuir, 2003, 19 (6), pp. 2294 - 2305
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Ion channels, such as gramicidin A, selectively facilitate the transport of ions across biological and synthetic membranes. The conductance properties of ion channels are frequently characterized in synthetic bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs). The instability of BLMs has seriously limited the range of applications for these structures, and tethered bilayer lipid membranes (tBLMs) have addressed the problem through tethering many of the membrane components to a solid surface. In the present study, thin gold substrates have been used to tether thiol- and disulfide-terminated membrane components to form a tBLM electrode to provide a reservoir for ions. This study reports on the ion selectivity and apparent permeability of gramicidin channels in such tethered bilayer membranes. The investigations using electrical impedance spectroscopy indicated that the magnitude of ionic conductance varies substantially in reservoirs with different chemical structures.
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