Ionic contrast across a lipid membrane for Debye length extension: towards an ultimate bioelectronic transducer

Donggeun Lee, Woo Hyuk Jung, Suho Lee, Eui Sang Yu, Taikjin Lee, Jae Hun Kim, Hyun Seok Song, Kwan Hyi Lee, Seok Lee, Sang Kook Han, Myung Chul Choi, Dong June Ahn, Yong Sang Ryu, Chulki Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Despite technological advances in biomolecule detections, evaluation of molecular interactions via potentiometric devices under ion-enriched solutions has remained a long-standing problem. To avoid severe performance degradation of bioelectronics by ionic screening effects, we cover probe surfaces of field effect transistors with a single film of the supported lipid bilayer, and realize respectable potentiometric signals from receptor–ligand bindings irrespective of ionic strength of bulky solutions by placing an ion-free water layer underneath the supported lipid bilayer. High-energy X-ray reflectometry together with the circuit analysis and molecular dynamics simulation discovered biochemical findings that effective electrical signals dominantly originated from the sub-nanoscale conformational change of lipids in the course of receptor–ligand bindings. Beyond thorough analysis on the underlying mechanism at the molecular level, the proposed supported lipid bilayer-field effect transistor platform ensures the world-record level of sensitivity in molecular detection with excellent reproducibility regardless of molecular charges and environmental ionic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3741
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by KIST Institutional Programs (Nos. 2E31253, 2E31251, and 2E31271) and the Joint research lab program of the National Agenda research division, KIST. The National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (Nos. 2020R1A2C2005486, 2018R1A2B3001690, 2021R1A2C2009236, and 2017M3D1A1039421).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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