Electric field-induced concentration gradients in planar supported bilayers

Biophys J. 1995 Nov;69(5):1972-5. doi: 10.1016/S0006-3495(95)80067-6.


A simple method of generating electric field-induced concentration gradients in planar supported bilayers has been developed. Gradients of charged, fluorescently labeled probes were visualized by epifluorescence microscopy and could be observed at field strengths as low as 1 V/cm. Steady-state concentration gradients can be described by a simple competition between random diffusion and electric field-induced drift. A model based on this principle has been used to determine the diffusion coefficient of the fluorescent probes. This technique achieves a degree of electrical manipulation of supported bilayers that offers a variety of possibilities for the development of new molecular architectures and the study of biological membranes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Biophysics
  • Diffusion
  • Electricity
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Models, Chemical


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Lipid Bilayers