Novel biomedical applications of Supported Lipid Bilayers
In nature, cell behavior is guided by complex physiochemical cues encoded in their environment. For example, a wealth of stimuli ranging from cell-cell contacts, cytokine and growth factor stimulation, ECM interaction and the physical milieu have been identified to steer (stem) cell fate. Here, the cell plasma membrane plays a pivotal role, providing a physical barrier to the cells surroundings and allowing transport and signal transduction. This highly ordered and complex interfacial lipid layer can house a vast array of bio-active compounds and is heavily involved in cell migration, proliferation and differentiation. Reconstituting its function is crucial to further our understanding of such cellular processes. Mimetic membrane systems, in the form of Supported Lipid Bilayers (SLBs), have been put forth to explore the cell membrane in a redundant fashion. A key feature of SLBs is the fluidic nature of the lipid bilayer and embedded components.
In the present work, a novel nano-analytical device facilitated separation of membrane components using µSLB electrophoresis. In addition, µSLB electrophoresis was used to generate reversible locked-in SLB gradients amendable to a variety of (bio)chemistries and were used to study E. coli binding. Moreover, a propitiatory biopolymer surface modification strategy allowed us to prepare air-stable Biomaterial Supported Lipid Bilayer (BSLBs) that retain their non-fouling behavior and fluidity in 3D. Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) culture with RGD peptide amphiphiles was studied, suggesting chemical, mechanical and biological decoupling of bulk material properties.