Membrane systems

Pore spanning membranes

Porous Substrates nano-BLMs

We develop insulating lipid membranes, which suspend the pores of highly ordered porous alumina (d = 60-300 nm) and porous silicon substrates (d = 450-2000 nm), which can separate attoliter- to femtoliter-sized compartments. These membranes exhibit a high long-term and mechanical stability and allow for the investigation of membrane-confined processes. Fluorescence microscopy images show pore-spanning membranes (red) on porous silicon substrates.

Protruding pore spanning membranes

By applying an osmotic gradient across the planar membranes, protrusion of the bilayers lead to membranes with well defined, tuneable curvature and a defined femtoliter-sized compartment underneath.

Gleisner et al. (2014) Soft Matter 10, 6228-6236

GUV Systems

Giant unilamelar vesicles (GUVs) are a standard model for freestanding lipid bilayers and cellular membranes. By controlling membrane composition and mechanical properties of GUVs, they offer valuable insight into membrane processes and characteristics. By controlling the adhesion strength of GUVs we are able to produce model membranes with well defined and tunable lateral membrane tension. Recently, we have been able to produce GUVs from large unilamellar vesicles by a droplet-emulsion technique based on microfluidics.

Right image taken from Gleisner et al. (2016) J. Biol. Chem. 291, 19953-19961

In part funded by the Volkswagen Foundation "Living Foams"