Self-formation process of bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs) cushioned on agarose-coated Si surfaces was in situ monitored by simultaneous electrophysiological and infrared absorption spectroscopic (IRAS) measurements using IRAS with the multiple internal reflection geometry. IRAS signals corresponding to self-thinning of lipid solution to form BLMs were demonstrated. It was found that the appearance of IRAS bands due to C=O modes of phosphstidylcholine is related to formation of BLMs with a gigaohm seal. The functionality of the present BLM system was also demonstrated by incorporating gramicidin into the BLMs and recording its channel activities.
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