Bioinspired, Size-Tunable Self-Assembly of Polymer-Lipid Bilayer Nanodiscs

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2017 Sep 11;56(38):11466-11470. doi: 10.1002/anie.201705569. Epub 2017 Aug 10.


Polymer-based nanodiscs are valuable tools in biomedical research that can offer a detergent-free solubilization of membrane proteins maintaining their native lipid environment. Herein, we introduce a novel ca. 1.6 kDa SMA-based polymer with styrene:maleic acid moieties that can form nanodiscs containing a planar lipid bilayer which are useful to reconstitute membrane proteins for structural and functional studies. The physicochemical properties and the mechanism of formation of polymer-based nanodiscs are characterized by light scattering, NMR, FT-IR, and TEM. A remarkable feature is that nanodiscs of different sizes, from nanometer to sub-micrometer diameter, can be produced by varying the lipid-to-polymer ratio. The small-size nanodiscs (up to ca. 30 nm diameter) can be used for solution NMR spectroscopy studies whereas the magnetic-alignment of macro-nanodiscs (diameter of > ca. 40 nm) can be exploited for solid-state NMR studies on membrane proteins.

Keywords: NMR spectroscopy; lipids; membrane proteins; nanodiscs; polymers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biomimetics*
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Particle Size
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Surface Properties


  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Polymers