Lipid Membranes

Charged or dipolar interfaces and ions are widely found in natural and artificial systems (e.g. nanomembranes), ranging from clay minerals in geological context to biomaterials in biological context. The effect of ions on the structure and function of cells and cell-membranes are many and varied. Multivalent cations are critical for maintaining cell membrane structural integrity. Many membrane-associated processes including transport properties, cell communication, and membrane fusion are influenced by the properties of ions across charged and dipolar interfaces. The interactions between colloidal as well as nanoparticles and therefore material properties are also modified by the static and dynamic properties of ions at charged interfaces. Our lab is investigating the most basic interactions that take place between charged or dipolar lipid membranes. Using solution X-ray scattering, time-resolved X-ray scattering, and our analysis software, we are investigating how different ions mediate the structure, dynamics, and interactions between membranes.

lipid bilyaer ED
Lipid bilayer electron density profile.