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Title: Control of membrane permeability in air-stable droplet interface bilayers

Air-stable droplet interface bilayers (airDIBs) on oil-infused surfaces are versatile model membranes for synthetic biology applications, including biosensing of airborne species. However, air-DIBs are subject to evaporation, which can, over time, destabilize them and reduce their useful lifetime compared to traditional DIBs that are fully submerged in oil. Here, we show that lifetimes of air-DIBs can be extended by as much as an order of magnitude by maintaining them at a temperature just above the dew point. We find that raising the temperature from near the dew point (7 C at 38.5 % relative humidity) to room temperature results in loss of water molecules of hydration from the polar head groups of the lipid bilayer membrane due to evaporation in an irreversible process that increases the overall entropy of the system. This dehydration transition affects primarily the bilayer resistance, by increasing ion permeability through the increasingly disordered polar head group region of the bilayer. Temperature and/or relative humidity are conveniently tunable parameters for controlling the stability and composition of air-DIBs membranes, while still allowing for operation in ambient environments.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  3. Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States)
Publication Date:
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Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
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Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 31; Journal Issue: 14; Journal ID: ISSN 0743-7463
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States