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Adhesion of Lipid Membranes Mediated by Electrostatic and Specific Interactions

  • Christian W. Maier (a1), Almuth Behrisch (a1), Annette Kloboucek (a1) and Rudolf Merkel (a1)


We used the micropipet aspiration technique for a study of biomembrane adhesion. Adhesion was caused by contact site A, a highly specific cell adhesion molecule, reconstituted in lipid vesicles of DOPC with 5 %(mol/mol) DOPE-PEG2000. We found adhesion and subsequent receptor aggregation in the contact zone. Additionally, electrostatic modulation of membrane adhesion was studied. Whereas addition of the negatively charged lipid SOPS to the lecithin (SOPC) host membrane suppressed adhesion due to electrostatic repulsion, a positively charged lipid (DOTAP) was surprisingly ineffective. This might be due to either phase separation of the mixture or DOTAP changing other membrane properties as bending stiffness and the Hamaker constant.



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