Membrane protein biosensing with plasmonic nanopore arrays and pore-spanning lipid membranes

Chem Sci. 2010 Jan 1;1(6):688-696. doi: 10.1039/C0SC00365D.


Integration of solid-state biosensors and lipid bilayer membranes is important for membrane protein research and drug discovery. In these sensors, it is critical that the solid-state sensing material does not have adverse effects on the conformation or functionality of membrane-bound molecules. In this work, pore-spanning lipid membranes are formed over an array of periodic nanopores in free-standing gold films for surface plasmon resonance (SPR) kinetic binding assays. The ability to perform kinetic assays with a transmembrane protein is demonstrated with α-hemolysin (α-HL). The incorporation of α-HL into the membrane followed by specific antibody binding (anti-α-HL) red-shifts the plasmon resonance of the gold nanopore array, which is optically monitored in real time. Subsequent fluorescence imaging reveals that the antibodies primarily bind in nanopore regions, indicating that α-HL incorporation preferentially occurs into areas of pore-spanning lipid membranes.