Membrane models

Cellular membrane models, while simplifying the complexity of natural systems, retain the essential compositional and structural features of cellular membranes. This allows the investigation of their dynamic response to parameters such as ion concentration, pH and temperature from the sub-nm to the micro- and mesoscale. Moreover, they enable the predictive study of interactions with molecules, macromolecules, aggregates and exogenous particles.

Membrane models can include sterol and lipid components with various chain length, saturation and charge values, which modulates their nano- and microstructure, as well as purified or synthetic glycolipids; they can be reconstituted from extracellular vesicles or from natural membrane extracts and can be enriched in membrane proteins and ion channels. These models, both synthetic and natural, can be generated in solution as monolamellar vesicles or nanodisks (tens of nm in radius), as planar, hydrated supported or floating membrane systems, or as lipid monolayers at the air-water interface.