(616d) Peptoid-Modified Bicelles As Surrogate Cell Membranes for Membrane Protein Sensors and Analytics

Najafi, H., University of Arkansas
Roper, D. K., University of Arkansas
Servoss, S., University of Arkansas

The study of membrane-affiliated interactions is significant to the understanding of cell function, detecting biomarkers to diagnose disease, and testing the efficiency of new therapeutic targets. The amphiphilic character of membrane proteins makes them difficult to produce, leading to low availability and stability.  Surrogate cell membranes can be used to stabilize membrane protein structure and maintain native activity. One type of surrogate cell membranes that we are interested in are bicelles, which are disc-shaped lipid bilayers that are created by combining long- and short-chain phospholipid pairs. Our goal is to modify the edges of bicelles by incorporating peptoids with different functional groups. For example, thiol groups can be included so that the peptoid-modified bicelles can be anchored to a gold surface. Peptoids are ideal for this application since a large diversity of side chains can be easily incorporated in a sequence-specific manner. Bicelles with different peptoid compositions are imaged using SEM, TEM and AFM. The presence of peptoids in the bicelles is confirmed by fluorescence microscopy and attachment of gold nanoparticles.