Denaturation of purple membranes at the air/water interface studied by SEM

Taiji Furuno, Hiroyuki Sasabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Fragments of purple membrane were spread at the air/water interface. The interfacial films were transferred onto a silicon wafer with time and initial coverage taken as parameters. The structure of the transferred films was examined with a scanning electron microscope. It was shown that both the size and the packing density of the membrane fragments decreased rapidly with time when the initial coverage was low, and that the intermembrane region was occupied by some substances. An assay by SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of a built-up film showed that bacteriorhodopsin molecules existed also in the intermembrane region. These results indicated that the denaturation of the purple membrane or the unfolding of bacteriorhodopsin occurred from the periphery of a membrane fragment at the air/water interface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991 Nov
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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