Self-Assembly of Mammalian-Cell Membranes on Bioelectronic Devices with Functional Transmembrane Proteins

Han Yuan Liu, Anna Maria Pappa, Aimie Pavia, Charalampos Pitsalidis, Quentin Thiburce, Alberto Salleo, Róisín M. Owens, Susan Daniel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Transmembrane proteins (TMPs) regulate processes occurring at the cell surface and are essential gatekeepers of information flow across the membrane. TMPs are difficult to study, given the complex environment of the membrane and its influence on protein conformation, mobility, biomolecule interaction, and activity. For the first time, we create mammalian biomembranes supported on a transparent, electrically conducting polymer surface, which enables dual electrical and optical monitoring of TMP function in its native membrane environment. Mammalian plasma membrane vesicles containing ATP-gated P2X2 ion channels self-assemble on a biocompatible polymer cushion that transduces the changes in ion flux during ATP exposure. This platform maintains the complexity of the native plasma membrane, the fluidity of its constituents, and protein orientation critical to ion channel function. We demonstrate the dual-modality readout using microscopy to characterize protein mobility by single-particle tracking and sensing of ATP gating of P2X2 using electrical impedance spectroscopy. This measurement of TMP activity important for pain sensing, neurological activity, and sensory activity raises new possibilities for drug screening and biosensing applications.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)7325-7331
Number of pages7
Issue number26
StatePublished - 7 Jul 2020


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