Phospholipid self-assembly

Self-assembled phospholipid bilayers provide the core structure of cell membranes – the physical boundaries of cells and sub-cellular structures that preserve cell integrity while also serving as a platform for life functions related to metabolism, sensing and intercellular communication. Phospholipids, organised into a two-dimensional bilayer, provide the primary membrane structure.

We study the formation and physicochemical properties of phospholipid bilayers of various composition, with microscopic and microspectroscopic methods. Our aim is to describe the structural and chemical characteristics of such biomimetic membranes that are deterministic of their collective properties: phase transitions, tension, bending rigidity, as a function of composition and environmental factors. We create artificial biomimetic membranes on arbitrary surfaces to mimic the physiological environment of living cells, for applications in biophysics, while also furthering the fundamental understanding of lipid self-assembly.