The lipid bilayer is central to life, as all living organisms possess a lipid bilayer structure, thereby underlying the lipid bilayer principle of biomembranes. Thus, the lipid bilayer principle and its applications are the main theme of this new book series.
Background - The conclusion that the fundamental structure of biomembranes is a lipid bilayer is based on three pivotal experimental findings:
• the elegant and simple experiment of establishing the orientation of amphipathic molecules at interfaces by Langmuir in 1917,
• using that method Gorter and Grendel in 1925 reported that the extracted lipids from the plasma membrane of red blood cells occupied the area on the surface of a Langmuir trough that was twice that of the original membrane, and likened its structure to that of a soap bubble, and
• the lipid bilayer structure, as deduced from the above indirect evidence, was dramatically demonstrated after Rudin and his associates in 1961 reconstituted a 'black' or bilayer lipid membrane by blowing an under-water 'soap bubble' from the lipids extracted from the white matter of cow's brains.
- Over the decades of the lipid bilayer research, the bilayer lipid membrane (BLM or planar lipid bilayer), along the liposomes, has evolved as an interdisciplinary effort, benefited by cross-fertilization of ideas. The lipid bilayer associated with life sciences and biotechnology is of central interest to a wide variety of investigators including biochemists, biologists, biophysicists, bioengineers and technologists, electrochemists, physiologists, pharmacologists, surface and colloid scientists, and others working on ultrathin films and membrane phenomena.
With above background in mind, the Series on bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs and liposomes) include invited chapters on a broad range of topics, ranging from theoretical investigations, specific studies, experimental methods, to practical applications. The author(s) of each chapter is solicited to focus mainly on the work of his/her laboratory, with minimal reviews of others. One of the aims of the chapters is for newcomers, experienced scientists, and for others who are not familiar with research areas dealt with. Another aim of the Series is to cover all aspects of lipid bilayer investigations, both fundamental and applied. These contributed chapters are entities to themselves, thereby strengthening the lipid bilayer principle of biomembranes, and are related to the overall lipid bilayer venture.