Phase-state dependent current fluctuations in pure lipid membranes

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Current fluctuations in pure lipid membranes have been shown to occur under the influence of transmembrane electric fields (electroporation) as well as a result from structural rearrangements of the lipid bilayer during phase transition (soft perforation). We demonstrate that the ion permeability during lipid phase transition exhibits the same qualitative temperature dependence as the macroscopic heat capacity of a D15PC/DOPC vesicle suspension. Microscopic current fluctuations show distinct characteristics for each individual phase state. Although current fluctuations in the fluid phase show spikelike behavior of short timescales (∼2 ms) with a narrow amplitude distribution, the current fluctuations during lipid phase transition appear in distinct steps with timescales of ∼20 ms. We propose a theoretical explanation for the origin of timescales and permeability based on a linear relationship between lipid membrane susceptibilities and relaxation times near the phase transition. © 2009 by the Biophysical Society.




Wunderlich, B., Leirer, C., Idzko, A. L., Keyser, U. F., Wixforth, A., Myles, V. M., … Schneider, M. F. (2009). Phase-state dependent current fluctuations in pure lipid membranes. Biophysical Journal, 96(11), 4592–4597.

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