Functional liposomes and supported lipid bilayers: towards the complexity of biological archetypes

Research Area: Uncategorized Year: 2011
Type of Publication: Article
Number: 19 Pages: 8769-8782
ISSN: 1463-9076
This perspective paper provides some illustrative examples on the interplay between information gathered on planar supported lipid bilayers (SLB) and unilamellar lipid vesicles (ULV) to get an integrated description of phenomena occurring at the nanoscale that involve locally bilayered structures. Similarities and differences are underlined and critically compared in terms of biomimetic fidelity and instrumental accessibility to structural and dynamical parameters, focusing on some recent reports that either explicitly address this comparison or introducing some studies that separately investigate the same process in SLB and lipid vesicles. Despite the structural similarity on the nanoscale, the different topology implies radically different characterization techniques that have evolved in sectorial and separated approaches. The quest for increasing levels of compositional complexity for bilayered systems should not result in a loss of structural and dynamical control: this is the central challenge of future research in this area, where the integrated approach highlighted in this contribution would enable improved levels of understanding.
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