Liposome techniques for synthesis of biomimetic lipid membranes
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- Nanobiotechnology of biomimetic membranes, 2007, 1, pp. 75 - 87
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The lipid bilayer is the universal basis for cell membrane structure. Historically, the formation of this bilayer into a closed, spherical vesicle, essentially a microscopic sac, resulted in the creation of a boundary separating the internal environment (lumen) from the external environment. This very basic vesicle structure with its semipermeable properties, has formed the basis for the development of life on earth as we know it.The term used to describe these closed spherical structures is a liposome. These bilayer vesicles form spontaneously when phospholipids (containing 2 hydrocarbon chains and a hydrophilic polar head group) are exposed to an aqueous environment. This was first demonstrated in 1965 by Bangham and his colleagues! who were studying the diffusion of univalent ions across what they described as "spontaneonsly formed liquid crystals of lecithin". They reported that ions diffused across these artificial membranes in a manner highly analogous to that observed in biological membranes.
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