Effect of temperature on the structure, electrical resistivity, and charge capacitance of supported lipid bilayers

Shiju Abraham, Tabea Heckenthaler, Yakov Morgenstern, Yair Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Supported lipid bilayers with incorporated membrane proteins have promising potential for diverse applications, such as filtration processes, drug delivery, and biosensors. For these applications, the continuity (lack of defects), electrical resistivity, and charge capacitance of the lipid bilayers are crucial. Here, we highlight the effects of temperature changes and the rate of temperature changes on the vertical and lateral expansion and contraction of lipid bilayers, which in turn affect the lipid bilayer resistivity and capacitance. We focused on lipid bilayers that consist of 50 mol % dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (zwitterionic lipid) and 50 mol % dimyristoyl-3-trimethylammonium-propane (positively charged lipid) lipids. This lipid mixture is known to self-assemble into a continuous lipid bilayer on silicon wafers. It is shown experimentally and explained theoretically that slow cooling (e.g., −0.4 °C min−1) increases the resistivity significantly and reduces the capacitance of lipid bilayers, and these trends are reversed by heating. However, fast cooling (∼ −10 °C min−1 or faster) damages the membrane and reduces the resistivity and capacitance of lipid bilayers to practically zero. Importantly, the addition of 50 mol % cholesterol to lipid bilayers prevents the resistivity and capacitance reduction after fast cooling. It is argued that the ratio of lipid diffusion coefficient to thermal expansion/contraction rate (proportional to the heating/cooling rate) is the crucial parameter that determines the effects of temperature changes on lipids bilayers. A high ratio (fast lipid diffusion) increases the lipid bilayer resistivity and decreases the capacitance upon cooling and vice versa. Similar trends are expected for lipid membranes that consist of other lipids or lipidlike mixtures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8709-8715
Number of pages7
JournalLangmuir
Volume35
Issue number26
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2019

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