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Polymer-Supported Membranes: Physical Models of Cell Surfaces

  • Motomu Tanaka


The functional modification of solid surfaces with plasma membrane models has been drawing increasing attention as a straightforward strategy to bridge soft biological materials and hard inorganic materials. Planar model membranes can be deposited either directly on solid substrates (solid-supported membranes), or on ultrathin polymer supports (polymer-supported membranes) that mimic the generic role of the extracellular matrix and the cell surface. The first part of this review provides an overview of advances in the fabrication of polymer-supported membranes. The middle section describes how such thin polymer interlayers can physically modulate the membrane–substrate contact. The last section introduces several methods to localize membranes and membrane proteins. Finally, some ideas are presented on combining supported membrane concepts with semiconductor technology toward applications in materials science.



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