How Electric Fields Modify Alkane Solubility in Lipid Bilayers

Science  07 Mar 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4435, pp. 1075-1077
DOI: 10.1126/science.207.4435.1075


The planar lipid bilayer membrane is assumed to be in osmotic equilibrium with the surrounding Plateau-Gibbs border (annulus) and entrapped microlenses. An electric field applied across the membrane raises the chemical potential of the alkane in the bilayer, causing it to shift from the bilayer to the annulus and microlenses. This shift results in a decrease in thickness.