Microfluidic trapping of giant unilamellar vesicles to study transport through a membrane pore

T. Robinson*, P. Kuhn, K. Eyer, P. S. Dittrich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We present a microfluidic platform able to trap single GUVs in parallel. GUVs are used as model membranes across many fields of biophysics including lipid rafts, membrane fusion, and nanotubes. While their creation is relatively facile, handling and addressing single vesicles remains challenging. The PDMS microchip used herein contains 60 chambers, each with posts able to passively capture single GUVs without compromising their integrity. The design allows for circular valves to be lowered from the channel ceiling to isolate the vesicles from rest of the channel network. GUVs containing calcein were trapped and by rapidly opening the valves, the membrane pore protein α-hemolysin (αHL) was introduced to the membrane. Confocal microscopy revealed the kinetics of the small molecule efflux for different protein concentrations. This microfluidic approach greatly improves the number of experiments possible and can be applied to a wide range of biophysical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044105
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2013


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