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An Introduction to Biological Membranes - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780444521538, 9780080931289

An Introduction to Biological Membranes

1st Edition

From Bilayers to Rafts

Author: William Stillwell
eBook ISBN: 9780080931289
Hardcover ISBN: 9780444521538
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 20th April 2013
Page Count: 378
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An Introduction to Biological Membranes: From Bilayers to Rafts covers many aspects of membrane structure/function that bridges membrane biophysics and cell biology. Offering cohesive, foundational information, this publication is valuable for advanced undergraduate students, graduate students and membranologists who seek a broad overview of membrane science.

Key Features

  • Brings together different facets of membrane research in a universally understandable manner
  • Emphasis on the historical development of the field
  • Topics include membrane sugars, membrane models, membrane isolation methods, and membrane transport.


Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and researchers in biology, cell biology, biochemistry, and biophysics.

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1. Introduction to Biological Membranes
    • A What is a Biological Membrane?
    • B General Membrane Functions
    • C Eukaryote Cell Structure
    • D Size of Domains
    • E Basic Composition of Membranes
    • Summary
    • References
  • Chapter 2. Membrane History
    • A Oil On Water: Interface Studies
    • B The Lipid Bilayer Membrane
    • Summary
    • References
  • Chapter 3. Water and the Hydrophobic Effect
    • A Water – Strength in Numbers
    • B Structure of Water
    • C Properties of Water – No Ordinary Joe
    • D Surface Tension
    • E The Hydrophobic Effect
    • Summary
    • References
  • Chapter 4. Membrane Lipids: Fatty Acids
    • A What are Lipids?
    • B Why are there so Many Different Lipids?
    • C Lipid Classification Systems
    • D Fatty Acids
    • Summary
    • References
  • Chapter 5. Membrane Polar Lipids
    • A Bonds Connecting to Acyl Chains
    • B Phospholipids
    • C Sphingolipids
    • D Sterols
    • E Membrane Lipid Distribution
    • F Plant Lipids
    • G Membrane Lipids Found in Low Abundance
    • Summary
    • References
  • Chapter 6. Membrane Proteins
    • A Introduction
    • B The Amino Acids
    • C How Many Membrane Protein Types are there?
    • Summary
    • References
  • Chapter 7. Membrane Sugars
    • A Introduction
    • B Glycolipids
    • C Glycoproteins
    • D GPI-Anchored Proteins
    • Summary
    • References
  • Chapter 8. From Lipid Bilayers to Lipid Rafts
    • A Development of Membrane Models
    • B The Danielli-Davson Pauci-Molecular Model
    • C The Robertson Unit Membrane Model
    • D Benson and Green’s Lipoprotein Subunit Models
    • E The Singer-Nicolson Fluid Mosaic Model
    • F Simons’ Lipid Raft Model
    • Summary
    • References
  • Chapter 9. Basic Membrane Properties of the Fluid Mosaic Model
    • A Size and Time Domains
    • B Membrane Thickness
    • C Membrane Asymmetry
    • D Lateral Diffusion
    • E Lipid Trans-membrane Diffusion (Flip-Flop)
    • F Lipid Melting Behavior
    • G Membrane ‘Fluidity’
    • Summary
    • References
  • Chapter 10. Lipid Membrane Properties
    • A Complex Lipid Interactions
    • B Non-Lamellar Phases
    • C Lipid Phase Diagrams
    • D Lipid–Protein Interactions
    • E Lipid Interdigitation
    • Summary
    • References
  • Chapter 11. Long-Range Membrane Properties
    • A Membrane Bilayer Lipid Packing
    • B Membrane Protein Distribution
    • C Imaging of Membrane Domains
    • D Homeoviscous Adaptation
    • Summary
    • References
  • Chapter 12. Membrane Isolation Methods
    • A Introduction
    • B Breaking Open the Cell: Homogenization
    • C Membrane Fractionation: Centrifugation
    • D Membrane Fractionation: Non-Centrifugation Methods
    • E Membrane Markers
    • Summary
    • References
  • Chapter 13. Membrane Reconstitution
    • A Detergents
    • B Membrane Protein Isolation
    • C Membrane Lipid Isolation
    • D Model Lipid Bilayer Membranes – Liposomes
    • E Membrane Reconstitution
    • F Lipid Rafts
    • Summary
    • References
  • Chapter 14. Membrane Transport
    • A Introduction
    • B Simple Passive Diffusion
    • C Facilitated Diffusion
    • D Active Transport
    • E Ionophores
    • F Gap Junctions
    • G Other Ways to Cross the Membrane
    • Summary
    • References
  • Chapter 15. Membranes and Human Health
    • A Liposomes as Drug-Delivery Agents
    • B Effect of Dietary Lipids on Membrane Structure/Function
    • Summary
    • References
  • Appendix A. Chronology of Membrane Studies
  • Index


No. of pages:
© Elsevier Science 2013
20th April 2013
Elsevier Science
eBook ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Author

William Stillwell

Dr. Stillwell was a faculty member at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis for 32 years where he taught a senior level course in Biological Chemistry and a graduate level course in Biological Membranes. He also led an active research lab on the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on model membrane structure and function. He has published 140 papers and 400 abstracts on membranes. He has been an Associate Editor of Chemistry and Physics of Lipids. He retired in 2010 and now maintains Professor Emeritus status.

Affiliations and Expertise

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, USA


"It is well written, with a welcome emphasis on the history of lipid biochemistry and membrane biology… his book is readable, current, and well organized...Students of membrane structure and function, as well as experienced researchers in the area, will benefit from reading this book; it can also serve as a course resource. Summing Up: Highly recommended."--Choice Reviews Online, May 2014
"William Stillwell, who for 30 years taught a course on biological membranes, is successful in delivering a broad textbook that can be used in a beginning graduate course on biological membranes… it offers much more extensive coverage of the field of biological membranes than that found in almost any current biochemistry, cell biology, or physiology textbook. This book will be treasured by all who are interested in biological membranes."  Rating: 3, February 14, 2014
"Stillwell…presents a textbook that discusses many aspects of membrane structure and function and bridges membrane biophysics and cell biology without delving into technical matters only specialists can understand. He writes primarily for advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students, but suggests that even specialists in some aspect of membranes might appreciate a broad overview of the whole field."--Reference & Research Book News, December 2013

Ratings and Reviews