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Evaluation of Lateral Diffusion of Lipids in Continuous Membranes between Freestanding and Supported Areas by Fluorescence Recovery after Photobleaching

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journal contribution
posted on 26.08.2019, 04:29 by Azusa Oshima, Hiroshi Nakashima, Koji Sumitomo
The lateral diffusion of lipids is a key factor when functionalizing artificial planar bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs). Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) is an established method for evaluating the fluidity of BLMs by the quantitative determination of the diffusion coefficient. However, a BLM with a uniform diffusion coefficient is usually assumed for analysis. In addition, when the BLM to be evaluated is small, the spread of a bleached circle caused by lateral diffusion during the bleaching process and the divergence of the laser used for bleaching interfere with the quantitative analysis. In this study, a numerical calculation was adopted to make it possible to analyze the continuous BLM between freestanding and supported areas, where the diffusion coefficients change depending on the presence or absence of an interaction with the substrate. A quantitative evaluation independent of such bleaching conditions as the bleaching diameter was also ensured by incorporating the spreading effect of the bleached circle in the calculation, which was employed to analyze a freestanding BLM with a diameter of only a few micrometers. By comparing calculations and experiments on FRAP recovery curves, we found that there are multiple diffusion elements and high diffusion barriers at the boundary between the freestanding and supported areas in a BLM over a SiO2/Si microwell substrate.