The lipid bilayer membrane is crucial to the proper functioning of biological processes. It not only secludes a cellâ€™s contents from the surrounding environment, but the membrane itself also serves as a dynamic scaffold for membrane proteins. The lipid membraneâ€™s thickness is of nanoscale dimension, thus making it an ideal structure for nano and micro bioengineering applications. My research of biological membranes is two-fold. The first objective is to engineer a microfluidic structure that serves as learning tool for understanding the fundamental mechanical behavior of lipid bilayers. The second objective is to use the supported lipid membrane as a framework for studying both transmembrane proteins as well as nanophotonic properties of the functionalized bilayer.
Project end date: 08/11/09