Biomembrane printing


Copyright – Science reports, DOI: 10.1038/srep02743

Lipid bilayer membranes are among the most ubiquitous structures in the living world, with intricate structural features and a multitude of biological functions. It is attractive to recreate these structures in the laboratory, as this allows mimicking and studying the properties of biomembranes and their constituents, specifically exploiting the intrinsic two-dimensional fluidity. The BioPen (formerly the Multifunctional pipette) was used as a rapid prototyping technology for two-dimensional fluidic platforms, based on in-situ generated circuits of phospholipid films, by deposition and fusion of small unilamellar vesicles of varying compositions. In this “lab-on-a-biomembrane”, various chemical and physical operations, such as writing, erasing, functionalization, and molecular transport, could be applied to user-defined regions of a membrane circuit. The BioPen system operates in an “open volume”, i.e., outside the confinement imposed by channels and chambers, providing unique opportunities for interaction with biological samples.

View paper