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Immobilized Biological Membranes

Laboratory: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Technology: Immobilized biological membranes that can be used to create new biosensors and prosthetics

Opportunity: Available for licensing exclusively or nonexclusively in any field of use

Description: Natural biological cell membranes offer significant advantages over artificial membranes in research and therapeutic applications. Artificial membranes require tedious isolation of membrane proteins, and attempts to reconstitute lipid bilayers with such isolated proteins. This method produces immobilized biological membranes that may be used as a sensing indicator in a biosensor, an adsorbent in a chromatography system, and as a coating for medical devices. Additionally, a functional immobilized biological membrane may be made for future prosthetics applications.

The membranes can be attached to a wide variety of surfaces and substrates, and they retain at least a portion of the membrane function or activity as observed for the biological membrane in its natural setting (e.g., as part of a living cell).

Potential Applications:

  • Screening agents and detectors for medical therapies
  • Biosensors that can detect microorganisms, chemical compounds in human body fluids, and other reactants present in the environment or in industrial settings
  • Creating implantable medical devices, including prosthetic devices or grafts
  • Chemical and biochemical analysis, as an adsorbent in a chromatography system.

Contact: Jack Pevenstein, NIST Technology Partnership Office

For more information, visit NIST’s listing of this technology.

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