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Article

Experimental Investigations on the Conductance of Lipid Membranes under Differential Hydrostatic Pressure

1
Department of Physics, Boise State University, Boise, ID 83725, USA
2
Biomolecular Sciences Graduate Program, Boise State University, Boise, ID 83725, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Shiro Suetsugu
Membranes 2022, 12(5), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12050479
Received: 31 March 2022 / Revised: 22 April 2022 / Accepted: 27 April 2022 / Published: 29 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Membranes in Life Sciences)
The unassisted transport of inorganic ions through lipid membranes has become increasingly relevant to an expansive range of biological phenomena. Recent simulations indicate a strong influence of a lipid membrane’s curvature on its permeability, which may be part of the overall cell sensitivity to mechanical stimulation. However, most ionic permeability experiments employ a flat, uncurved lipid membrane, which disregards the physiological relevance of curvature on such investigations. To fill this gap in our knowledge, we adapted a traditional experimental system consisting of a planar lipid membrane, which we exposed to a controlled, differential hydrostatic pressure. Our electrophysiology experiments indicate a strong correlation between the changes in membrane geometry elicited by the application of pressure, as inferred from capacitance measurements, and the resulting conductance. Our experiments also confirmed the well-established influence of cholesterol addition to lipid membranes in adjusting their mechanical properties and overall permeability. Therefore, the proposed experimental system may prove useful for a better understanding of the intricate connections between membrane mechanics and adjustments of cellular functionalities upon mechanical stimulation, as well as for confirmation of predictions made by simulations and theoretical modeling. View Full-Text
Keywords: bilayer lipid membrane; conductance; curvature; pressure; electrophysiology bilayer lipid membrane; conductance; curvature; pressure; electrophysiology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Whiting, R.; Finn, P.W.; Bogard, A.; McKinney, F.; Pankratz, D.; Smith, A.R.; Gardner, E.A.; Fologea, D. Experimental Investigations on the Conductance of Lipid Membranes under Differential Hydrostatic Pressure. Membranes 2022, 12, 479. https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12050479

AMA Style

Whiting R, Finn PW, Bogard A, McKinney F, Pankratz D, Smith AR, Gardner EA, Fologea D. Experimental Investigations on the Conductance of Lipid Membranes under Differential Hydrostatic Pressure. Membranes. 2022; 12(5):479. https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12050479

Chicago/Turabian Style

Whiting, Rose, Pangaea W. Finn, Andrew Bogard, Fulton McKinney, Dallin Pankratz, Aviana R. Smith, Elen A. Gardner, and Daniel Fologea. 2022. "Experimental Investigations on the Conductance of Lipid Membranes under Differential Hydrostatic Pressure" Membranes 12, no. 5: 479. https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12050479

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