Biomimetic Phospholipid Membrane Organization on Graphene and Graphene Oxide Surfaces: A Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study.
Willems N., Urtizberea A., Verre AF., Iliut M., Lelimousin M., Hirtz M., Vijayaraghavan A., Sansom MS.
Supported phospholipid membrane patches stabilized on graphene surfaces have shown potential in sensor device functionalization, including biosensors and biocatalysis. Lipid dip-pen nanolithography (L-DPN) is a method useful in generating supported membrane structures that maintain lipid functionality, such as exhibiting specific interactions with protein molecules. Here, we have integrated L-DPN, atomic force microscopy, and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulation methods to characterize the molecular properties of supported lipid membranes (SLMs) on graphene and graphene oxide supports. We observed substantial differences in the topologies of the stabilized lipid structures depending on the nature of the surface (polar graphene oxide vs nonpolar graphene). Furthermore, the addition of water to SLM systems resulted in large-scale reorganization of the lipid structures, with measurable effects on lipid lateral mobility within the supported membranes. We also observed reduced lipid ordering within the supported structures relative to free-standing lipid bilayers, attributed to the strong hydrophobic interactions between the lipids and support. Together, our results provide insight into the molecular effects of graphene and graphene oxide surfaces on lipid bilayer membranes. This will be important in the design of these surfaces for applications such as biosensor devices.