Lipid Bilayer Formation Using Sessile Droplets

Tech ID: 29863 / UC Case 2010-054-0


UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering have developed a method to form a biologically functional lipid bilayer in a high-throughput and automated fashion.


Currently medium throughput ion channel measurements are conducted using automated patch-clamping. This technique involves directly attaching to a cell and measuring the current through a specific ion channel embedded in the cell membrane. The process of automated patch-clamping is a relatively slow and costly technique. Artificial bilayers, which are created in a laboratory for ion channel insertion and study, are attractive since the measurement is much easier and the experimenter has greater control over the surrounding biological environment. Yet, as a technology, artificial lipid bilayers are also characterized by low throughput and relatively high costs associated with its manual technique.


Researchers at UCLA have developed a method to form a biologically functional lipid bilayer in a high- throughput and automated fashion. The ionic current that flows through the channel proteins incorporated into the bilayer can be directly monitored.


  • High throughput formation of lipid bilayers 
  • Can house ion channels and other transmembrane proteins 
  • Measurement of ion channels in high quality, high throughput manner 
  • Reduce cost and time associated with drug discovery process


  • High throughput bilayer generation – can generate 1000 bilayers per hour 
  • High throughput electrical measurement of bilayer without compromising bilayer integrity 
  • Requires less expertise than traditional methods 
  • Less expertise required than traditional method 
  • High control over biological environment - refresh upper solution using sessile aqueous droplets

State Of Development

This technology has been successfully demonstrated in the laboratory.

Related Materials

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,068,280 06/30/2015 2010-054


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  • Schmidt, Jacob J.

Other Information


Lipid bilayer, lipid, bilayer, sessile droplets, sessile, droplets, high-throughput, automated, ionic current, protein channels, artificial bilayer, protein incorporation, protein measurement

Categorized As