The study and the exploitation of membrane proteins for drug screening applications requires a controllable and reliable method for their delivery into an artificial suspended membrane platform based on lab-on-a-chip technology. In this work, a polymeric device for forming lipid bilayers suitable for electrophysiology studies and biosensor applications is presented. The chip supports a single bilayer and is configured for controlled protein delivery through on-chip microfluidics. In order to demonstrate the principle of protein delivery, the potassium channel KcsA was reconstituted into proteoliposomes, which were then fused with the suspended bilayer on-chip. Fusion of single proteoliposomes with the membrane was identified electrically. Single channel conductance measurements of KcsA in the on-chip bilayer were recorded and these were compared to previously published data obtained with a conventional planar bilayer system.
- bilayer lipid membranes
- drug screening