MNP: Controlling and quantifying molecular transport through lipid membranes

Professor Ulrich K. Keyser, University of Cambridge

All living organism rely on a tight control of the transport through their lipid membranes. In this talk I will discuss how we use DNA nanotechnology for the construction of artificial membrane proteins that perform similar functions to ion channels [1]. These synthetic designer nanopores promise improved capabilities for enhanced single molecule detection. Here, we will review the recent developments of DNA origami nanopores in lipid membranes[2]. These structures have extraordinary versatility and are a new and powerful tool in nanobiotechnology for a wide range of important applications.

In this talk, I will discuss the recent realisation of ion channel entirely made from DNA. The versatility of the DNA nanotechnology enables the creation of designer nanopores as model systems for protein channels from channels to porins spanning several orders of magnitude in conductance and molecular weight [1,2]. We also recently showed that these ion channels influence the lipid transport between leaflets in the membrane. Finally, I will show our developments of microfluidic techniques [4] that allow for making giant uni-lamellar vesicles in microfluidic chips. The utility of the method for the quantification of membrane transport of membrane proteins as well as porins will be discussed. Our on-chop approach to make GUVs is especially suited to study transport of drug molecules through lipid membranes containing membrane channels as well as designer DNA nanopores.

For more information, please contact Dr Sally Peyman


[1] K. Goepfrich, et al. Nano Letters, 16(7):4665-4669, 2016
[2] K. Goepfrich, et al. ACS nano, 10(9):8207-8214, 2016
[3] A. Ohmann, et al., under revision, bioarxiv, , 2018
[4] J. Cama, et al., JACS, 137(43):13836-13843, 2015