A novel experimental technique, based on atomic force microscopy (AFM), is proposed to visualize the lateral organization of membrane systems in the nanometer range. The technique involves the use of a ligand-receptor pair, biotin-avidin, which introduces a height variation on a solid-supported lipid bilayer membrane. This leads to a height amplification of the lateral membrane organization that is large enough to be clearly imaged by scanning AFM. The power of the technique is demonstrated for a binary dipalmitoylphosphocholine-diarachidoylphosphocholine lipid mixture which is shown to exhibit a distinct lateral lipid domain formation. The new and simple ligand-receptor-based AFM approach opens up new ways to investigate lipid membrane microstructure in the nanometer range as well as the lateral distribution of ligand-lipid and receptor-protein complexes in supported membrane systems.
|Publication status||Published - 2002|