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Membranes 2011, 1(4), 345-353;

Effect of Counter Electrode in Electroformation of Giant Vesicles

Department of Chemistry and Material Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Shinshu University, 4-17-1 Wakasato, Nagano 380-8553, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 September 2011 / Revised: 10 October 2011 / Accepted: 17 November 2011 / Published: 24 November 2011
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Electroformation of cell-sized lipid membrane vesicles (giant vesicles, GVs), from egg yolk phosphatidylcholine, was examined varying the shape of the counter electrode. Instead of a planar ITO (indium tin oxide) electrode commonly used, platinum wire mesh was employed as a counter electrode facing lipid deposit on a planar formation electrode. The modification did not significantly alter GV formation, and many GVs of 30–50 µm, some as large as 100 µm, formed as with the standard setup, indicating that a counter electrode does not have to be a complete plane. When the counter electrode was reduced to a set of two parallel platinum wires, GV formation deteriorated. Some GVs formed, but only in close proximity to the counter electrode. Lower electric voltage with this setup no longer yielded GVs. Instead, a large onion-like multilamellar structure was observed. The deteriorated GV formation and the formation of a multilamellar structure seemed to indicate the weakened effect of the electric field on lipid deposit due to insufficient coverage with a small counter electrode. Irregular membranous objects formed by spontaneous swelling of lipid without electric voltage gradually turned into multilamellar structure upon following application of voltage. No particular enhancement of GV formation was observed when lipid deposit on a wire formation electrode was used in combination with a large planar counter electrode. View Full-Text
Keywords: electroformation; electroswelling; giant vesicles; giant liposomes; lipid membrane electroformation; electroswelling; giant vesicles; giant liposomes; lipid membrane

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Okumura, Y.; Oana, S. Effect of Counter Electrode in Electroformation of Giant Vesicles. Membranes 2011, 1, 345-353.

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