Live Cell Membrane in Interaction with Antimicrobial Molecules

R. Lahiji, M.B. Holl
University of Michigan, US

Keywords: cell membrane, antimicrobial oligomers, patch clamp


Molecules in the nano size scale are potentially useful as therapeutic agents due to their size since they can interact in a sophisticated way at the cellular level. Antimicrobial oligomers (AMOs) are unique as they are amphipathic and cationic. It has been observed that antimicrobial oligomers (AMO-3) similar to cationic gold nanoparticles induce the formation of holes in cell membrane. This result suggests that molecules despite of their elemental composition can have biological effects in the environment simply due to their size, charge and shape. For this study, where molecules interact directly with live cell membrane, we have utilized an Ionflux 16 instrument (Fluxion Biosciences, CA). Ionflux 16 is an instrument that mimics the traditional whole cell patch clamp technique, where it provides the opportunity to study a total of 320 cells simultaneously in each experimental run. The Ionflux provides an easy way for comparison of different experimental conditions on the same set of cells and therefore have a more statistically accurate study on the cell behavior in interaction with molecules. Here we will introduce the technique and present our findings (results and hypothesis) on the possible methods of interaction of the molecules with living cells.