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Journal Article

A vesicle microrheometer for high-throughput viscosity measurements of lipid and polymer membranes


Dimova,  Rumiana       
Rumiana Dimova, Kolloidchemie, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Faizi, H. A., Dimova, R., & Vlahovska, P. M. (2022). A vesicle microrheometer for high-throughput viscosity measurements of lipid and polymer membranes. Biophysical Journal, 121(6), 910-918. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2022.02.015.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-FEAB-9
Viscosity is a key property of cell membranes that controls mobility of embedded proteins and membrane remodeling. Measuring it is challenging because existing approaches involve complex experimental designs and/or models, and the applicability of some is limited to specific systems and membrane compositions. As a result there is scarcity of systematic data and the reported values for membrane viscosity vary by orders of magnitude for the same system. Here, we show how viscosity of bilayer membranes can be easily obtained from the transient deformation of giant unilamellar vesicles. The approach enables a non-invasive, probe-independent and high-throughput measurement of the viscosity of bilayers made of lipids or polymers with a wide range of compositions and phase state. Using this novel method, we have collected a significant amount of data that provide insights into the relation between membrane viscosity, composition, and structure.