Micro- and nano-technologies for lipid bilayer-based ion-channel functional assays

Ayumi Hirano-Iwata, Yutaka Ishinari, Hideaki Yamamoto, Michio Niwano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Ion channel proteins provide gated pores that allow ions to passively flow across cell membranes. Owing to their crucial roles in regulating transmembrane ion flow, ion channel proteins have attracted the attention of pharmaceutical investigators as drug targets for use in the studies of both therapeutics and side effects. In this review, we discuss the current technologies that are used in the formation of ion channel-integrated bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs) in microfabricated devices as a potential platform for next-generation drug screening systems. Advances in BLM fabrication methodology have allowed the preparation of BLMs in sophisticated formats, such as microfluidic, automated, and/or array systems, which can be combined with channel current recordings. A much more critical step is the integration of the target channels into BLMs. Current technologies for the functional reconstitution of ion channel proteins are presented and discussed. Finally, the remaining issues of the BLM-based methods for recording ion channel activities and their potential applications as drug screening systems are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1266-1274
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry - An Asian Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 1


  • bilayer lipid membrane
  • channel current
  • channel integration
  • ion channel
  • microfabricaiton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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