Formation of planar bilayer membranes from lipid monolayers. A critique.


Journal Article

The formation of planar bilayer membranes from lipid monolayers as described by Montal and Mueller (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 1972. 69:3561) is analyzed. Bilayers absolutely free of alkane solvents or other nonpolar hydrocarbons can be formed on polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) (e.g. Teflon) septa only if certain boundary conditions are satisfied. Measurements have been made of the contact angles between monolayer-coated water and PTFE in the presence and absence of alkane solvents. The measurement suggest that the boundary conditions for formation of stable bilayers can be satisfied only when a nonpolar solvent is present. We conclude that the bilayer must be surrounded by a torus of alkane solvent, petroleum jelly, or silicone grease depending upon the details of technique used to form the bilayer. The non-polar solvent used in the formation of the bilayer may or may not be present in the bilayer depending upon the water solubility and size of the solvent molecule relative to the size of the alkyl chain of the lipid. Detailed sketches describing the formation of bilayers from monolayers are presented.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • White, SH; Petersen, DC; Simon, S; Yafuso, M

Published Date

  • May 1, 1976

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 481 - 489

PubMed ID

  • 1276378

Pubmed Central ID

  • 1276378

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-3495

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/S0006-3495(76)85703-7


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States