Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Biomedical Engineering

Major Professor

Stephen A. Sarles

Committee Members

Pat Collier, Jaan Mannick, Christopher A. Baker


The overarching goal of this research work is to further our understanding of lipid self-assembly and its organization at an oil-water interface to support the development of synthetic lipid bilayer systems that can be used in biologically relevant fields such as membrane biophysics, protein electrophysiology, development of synthetic biomolecules, drugs, nanoparticles and other applications. Self-assembly kinetics and interfacial properties of lipid monolayers formed at a liquid-air and liquid-liquid interface are characterized using Langmuir-Blodgett trough and pendant drop tensiometer. Insights gained from these studies not only allow us to answer questions related to droplet interface bilayer (DIB; a promising technique to assemble artificial lipid membranes) formation but also enable us to manipulate properties of monolayer in order to improve the potential of droplet interface bilayer by, a) increasing the number of phospholipids that can form DIBs, b) improving the success rate of DIB formation, and c) enhancing the electrical stability of bilayers formed. Owing to its wide range of applicability, novel efforts towards improving the durability and portability of DIB system are presented. In addition, this research work aims at using Nanoscribe direct laser writing — a state-of-the-art 3D printing device, to build 3D micro-scaffolds that can support lipid monolayers and bilayers that are suitable for high resolution optical studies.

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