The mechanoelectrical response of droplet interface bilayer membranes

E. C. Freeman, J. S. Najem, S. Sukharev, M. K. Philen, D. J. Leo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Mechanotransduction and interfacial properties in unsupported liquid biomimetic membranes are explored using the droplet-interface bilayer technique. The fluidic monolayer-membrane system afforded by this technique allows for dynamic control over the membrane dimensions and curvature, which under periodic deformations generates capacitive currents (akin to a Kelvin probe), and permits a detailed electrostatic characterization of the boundary layers as well as observation of flexoelectric effects. Both high and low displacement frequency regimes are examined, and the results show that the mechanoelectric signals generated by the membranes may be linked to the membrane electrostatic structure. In addition, we show that periodic membrane bending in a high-frequency regime generates tension sufficient to activate reconstituted mechanosensitive channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3021-3031
Number of pages11
JournalSoft matter
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 28 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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