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Electric field-induced reorganization of two-component supported bilayer membranes

By Jay T. Groves, Steven G. Boxer and Harden M. McConnell


Application of electric fields tangent to the plane of a confined patch of fluid bilayer membrane can create lateral concentration gradients of the lipids. A thermodynamic model of this steady-state behavior is developed for binary systems and tested with experiments in supported lipid bilayers. The model uses Flory’s approximation for the entropy of mixing and allows for effects arising when the components have different molecular areas. In the special case of equal area molecules the concentration gradient reduces to a Fermi–Dirac distribution. The theory is extended to include effects from charged molecules in the membrane. Calculations show that surface charge on the supporting substrate substantially screens electrostatic interactions within the membrane. It also is shown that concentration profiles can be affected by other intermolecular interactions such as clustering. Qualitative agreement with this prediction is provided by comparing phosphatidylserine- and cardiolipin-containing membranes

Topics: Physical Sciences
Publisher: The National Academy of Sciences of the USA
Year: 1997
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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