atomic force microscopy; AFM; planar bilayers; anesthesia; DPPC
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a remarkable tool for assessing the structural properties of supported lipid planar bilayers under different physiological conditions. Previous work has shown that incorporation of anesthetics into artificial lipid bilayers results in domain formation , destruction of lipid aggregates and patches , anesthetic-lipid mixed micelle formation , and the development of interdigitated phases of reduced thickness compared to anesthetic-free bilayers . In particular, these interdigitated phases are suspected to affect the structure and activity of membrane proteins, such as ion channels, and thus further research with proteinembedded bilayers exposed to anesthetics could reveal the mechanism responsible for disrupting action potentials. In this study, we inspect the effect of the general anesthetic isofluorane, a drug used widely by physicians to induce anesthesia in patients, on supported dipalmitoylphophatidylcholine (DPPC) planar bilayers using AFM. Bilayers were formed using the vesicle fusion method and imaged with Pico AFM.