Our Recent Work Establishes Effect of Cholesterol on Membrane Water Permeability using Droplet Bilayer (Published in Langmuir, ACS Publications)

Dr. Lee’s recent paper, titled “Effect of Monoglyceride Structure and Cholesterol Content on Water Permeability of the Droplet Bilayer” has been published in Langmuir, a publication of the American Chemical Society. The paper is coauthored by four undergraduates, Zuzanna Michalak (’13 Chemistry), Michelle Muzzio (’15 Chemistry), Peter J. Milianta (’16 Biochemistry), and Rosario Giacomini (’15 Biochemistry). In this paper, the process of water permeation across lipid membranes was investigated using a droplet interface bilayer (DIB) by contacting two aqueous droplets in an immiscible solvent containing bilayer-forming surfactant. We demonstrate that the DIB can be employed as a convenient model membrane to rapidly explore subtle structural effects on bilayer water permeability. This work lays the groundwork for the further development of DIB systems for the study of a wide variety of other processes involving small molecule permeation. Congratulations to the research team!