2016 - Conductance and Capacity of Plain Lipid Membranes under Conditions of Variable Gravity
Port-a-Patch and Vesicle Prep Pro publication in Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering (2016)
Sieber M., Kaltenbach S., Hanke W. and Kohn F.P.M
J. Biomedical Science and Engineering (2016) 9(8):361-366
Biological cell membranes are complex structures containing mainly lipids and proteins. Functional aspects of such membranes are usually attributed to membrane integral proteins. However, it is well established that parameters of the lipid matrix are modifying the function of proteins. Additionally, electrical capacity and conductance of the plain lipid matrix of membranes are contributing directly to cellular functions as there is, for example, the propagation of action potentials. Accordingly the dependence of these parameters on changes of gravity might be important in the field of life sciences under space conditions. In this study consequently we have performed experiments in parabolic flight campaigns utilizing the patch-clamp technology to investigate conductance and capacity of plain lipid vesicle membranes under conditions of changing gravity. Both capacity and conductance were found to be gravity dependent. The changes in capacity could be contributed to changes in membrane geometry. Significant permeability in plain lipid membranes could be only observed at high potentials, where spontaneous current fluctuations occurred. The probability of these fluctuations was gravity dependent.