Lipids and Membrane Biophysics: Faraday Discussion 161

11 - 13 September 2012, London, United Kingdom

One of the key challenges in biophysics and chemical biology is gaining an understanding of the underlying physico-chemical basis of the highly complex structure and properties of biomembranes. It used to be thought that the lipid component played a mainly passive role, simply acting as a self-assembled bilayer matrix within which the active protein components functioned. However, it has now become clear that there is a intimate two-way interplay between the lipid and the protein components in determining membrane structure, organization and dynamics, and that lipids play many active roles in biological function. Concepts such as lateral segregation and domain formation, lateral pressure, curvature and curvature elasticity have attracted enormous interest in recent years, although their validity when applied to real biomembranes remains unclear or even obscure.

This Faraday Discussion considered recent developments in the study of biomembrane structure, ordering and dynamics, with particular emphasis on the roles of lipids in these phenomena. As well as discussing new experimental and theoretical findings and novel methodologies, the meeting focused on exploring the relevance of concepts from amphiphile self-assembly and soft matter physics to understanding biomembranes.


  • Lipid self-assembly
  • Structure, ordering and dynamics of membranes
  • Lateral segregation, trans-bilayer coupling and microdomains
  • Membrane curvature, micromechanics and fusion
  • Lipid-protein interactions: two-way coupling
  • Interactions of signalling lipids and other molecules with membranes
  • Biomedical and technological applications of lipid membranes    


Sponsorship & supporting organisations
We would like to thank the following organisation for their support of Faraday Discussion 161
The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House

Royal Society of Chemistry, The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA, United Kingdom

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