Bioanalytical Research Group
Membrane proteins are commonly purified by solubilising them with detergents. For structural analysis they are usually reconstituted into a lipid membrane. This can be done by extracting the detergent molecules using SM-2 Biobeads in a solution that contains lipids.
Membrane lipids have the tendency to self-assemble into bi-layers. However, the formation of large, flat membranes is thermodynamically not favoured in a bulk solution. Instead, stacks of several layers or tubes emerge .
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