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This content will become publicly available on November 12, 2018

Title: Bicontinuous microemulsions as a biomembrane mimetic system for melittin

Antimicrobial peptides effectively kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria by forming pores in prokaryotes' biomembranes via penetration into the biomembranes' interior. Bicontinuous microemulsions, consisting of interdispersed oil and water nanodomains separated by flexible surfactant monolayers, are potentially valuable for hosting membrane-associated peptides and proteins due to their thermodynamic stability, optical transparency, low viscosity, and high interfacial area. Here, we show that bicontinuous microemulsions formed by negatively-charged surfactants are a robust biomembrane mimetic system for the antimicrobial peptide melittin. When encapsulated in bicontinuous microemulsions formed using three-phase (Winsor-III) systems, melittin's helicity increases greatly due to penetration into the surfactant monolayers, mimicking its behavior in biomembranes. But, the threshold melittin concentration required to achieve these trends is lower for the microemulsions. The extent of penetration was decreased when the interfacial fluidity of the microemulsions was increased. In conclusion, these results suggest the utility of bicontinuous microemulsions for isolation, purification, delivery, and host systems for antimicrobial peptides.
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  1. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. Biomembranes
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 1860; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0005-2736
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; Aerosol-OT; Bicontinuous microemulsions; Melittin; Antimicrobial peptides; Small-angle neutron scattering; Winsor-III microemulsion systems; Biomembrane mimetic systems
OSTI Identifier: