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Dynamics of Phospholipid Membrane Growth and Drug-Membrane Interactions Probed by Atomic Force Microscopy

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Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) has been used to probe the dynamics of phospholipid membranes. The kinetics of the growth processes and the time required to make large scale, stable supported phospholipid bilayers on mica substrates were examined and are shown to be second order. These studies ensure the formation of stable bilayers for experiments where AFM is used to probe the dynamics of the bilayer when it is interacting with the drug chlorpromazine (CPZ). Data generated in the presence of CPZ demonstrated a change in transition temperature. The decrease in transition temperature is caused by a disruption of the layer giving rise to defects. The time scale over which these defects occur was also measured. These AFM measurements give an insight into the interaction mechanism of CPZ with membranes at near molecular levels. Additionally, the AFM images clearly show the effect on the membrane of phospholipidosis, a type of lipid storage disorder.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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  • Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) typically covers atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM, or SNOM) and related technologies. Since its invention in early 1980s, SPM has now been regarded as one of the major driving forces for the rapid development of nanoscience and nanotechnology, and the tool of choice in many areas of research. Journal of Scanning Probe Microscopy (JSPM) provides a forum for rapid dissemination of important developments in SPM technology. JSPM offers scientists, engineers and developers timely, peer-reviewed research on SPM science and technology of the highest quality. JSPM publishes original rapid communications, full research papers and timely state-of-the-art reviews (with author's photo and biography) encompassing the fundamental and applied research on SPM in all fields of science, engineering, and medicine.
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