Lipid membranes

Studying lipid membranes is essential to understand their behaviour, design novel drugs, and target specific functions. At the PSCM, substantial efforts are deployed to increase our understanding of lipid membranes through well-characterized membrane models for physical and biological studies. Research activity covers: (i) extraction and purification of deuterated natural lipids from yeast and bacteria, to better mimic the complexity of living systems, (ii) investigations of structure and dynamics in lipid mono- and bi-layers to gain fundamental insight into their behavior, and (iii) studying the interactions of lipid membranes with colloidal objects, such as proteins, polymeric micelles, or nanoparticles. We support for example scientists investigating the structure of lipid films at the water surface and on solid supports. We also collaborate on the development and test of experimental apparatuses able to measure additional membrane properties – such as electrostatic charging – during scattering and diffraction experiments.