Hydrogel-encapsulated lipid membranes

J Am Chem Soc. 2006 Jan 11;128(1):42-3. doi: 10.1021/ja056901v.


We have encapsulated free-standing planar lipid membranes in a polymer hydrogel via in situ photopolymerization. These encapsulated membranes were measured to last at least 5 days and provided a stable environment for single-molecule measurements of incorporated alpha-hemolysin channel proteins. The translocation of single-stranded DNA through alpha-hemolysin incorporated into these encapsulated membranes is slowed over 100 times relative to that of the gel-free state. These stabilized membranes, therefore, have application to the single-molecule analysis of DNA as well as broader application to biomolecular sensors, membrane protein biophysical studies, and drug discovery.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Toxins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Toxins / metabolism
  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • Hydrogel, Polyethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate / chemistry*
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry
  • Lipid Bilayers / metabolism
  • Membrane Lipids / chemistry*
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism
  • Membranes, Artificial


  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Membrane Lipids
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • staphylococcal alpha-toxin
  • Hydrogel, Polyethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate
  • DNA