From the January 2016 issue of IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology

Novel Nano-Device to Measure Voltage-Driven Membrane Transporter Activity

by Rikiya Watanabe, Naoki Soga, and Hiroyuki Noji T-NANO, Vol. 15, Issue 1, pp. 70 – 73, January 2016.
ALBiC with nano-sized electrode (el-ALBiC). (a) A bright-field image of the through-hole structures on a fabricated nano-device. (b) Schematic illustration of el-ALBiC that displays through-hole structures on a double layer of fluororesin (h = 500 nm) and Au (h = 500 nm). Individual orifices on through-hole structures are sealed with lipid-bilayer membranes.
Abstract: The use of an arrayed lipid bilayer chamber system (ALBiC) enables highly sensitive quantitative analysis of membrane transporter activity, a major target of pharmaceutical research. Although membrane voltage is one of the main driving forces of transporters, the versatility of ALBiC is limited to transporter assays in the absence of membrane voltage, owing to technical limitations with voltage modulation. Here, we report a novel nano-device based on ALBiC (el-ALBiC) containing sub-million lipid bilayer chambers, each equipped with nano-sized electrodes. Since the nano-sized electrodes enable quantitative modulation of membrane voltage, the el-ALBiC is capable of performing highly sensitive detection of the voltage-driven membrane transporter activity. Thus, the novel nano-device el-ALBiC extends the versatility of ALBiC and has potential for further analytical and pharmacological applications, such as drug screening.