To develop a reliable method for on-chip bilayer lipid membrane (BLM) formation, which could be employed for use in a biosensor array platform, a polymer microfluidic device has been constructed, and the formation of suspended BLMs within it has been investigated. A simple, yet reproducible BLM formation protocol has been developed, in which a brief air-exposure period is employed to induce the rapid thinning of an initially thick lipid-solvent layer. The technique is rapid, reproducible, and amenable to the simple injection of proteins or analytes, as well as to buffer exchange on both sides of the membrane. Scaling up the technique for use in an array platform is also straightforward, the simultaneous formation of three individually addressable BLMs being demonstrated.
- lipid membrane
- lipid-solvent layer