Supported lipid bilayers are used to mimic the structure and properties of natural cell membranes and serve as a vluable model for studying various biophysical processes.

These flat membranes spread on the surface, such as a coverslip for imaging purposes, are used to study the physical and chemical properties of lipids organized in membranes, protein-lipid interactions, and the development of drugs and biosensors, among other applications.

Classical imaging of supported lipid bilayers has a few limitations. Firstly, their two-dimensional nature poses difficulties in finding a good focus using light microscopy. Moreover, interactions that occur between biomolecules require multichannel acquisition at nanometer resolution. Lipid-interacting proteins passed through the sample may also generate background noise that distorts the final image. Finally, optical microscopy provides a small field of view, limiting the imaging area to tens of micrometers.

Super-resolution TIRF imaging provides details of lipid bilayer morphology at the nanoscale.

ASTER technology allows imaging of large surfaces (150 x 150 um) with homogeneous illumination of a sample and within only one acquisition. Automatic TIRF calibration makes TIRF imaging quick and easily accessible. Proteins and lipids marked fluorescently can be detected simultaneously. Abbelight’s dual-camera system integrated into SAFe MN360 allows imaging of four colors at the same time. This feature provides information on protein-lipid and protein-protein interaction dynamics. Moreover, these interactions can be tracked and analyzed with Abbelight’s Neo Software using the Single Particle Tracking option included in the software.

Flat supported lipid bilayer and free-floating vesicles imaged in 3D using the Abbelight system. Giant Unilamellar Vesicles (GUVs) appear as cropped spheres. Membranes were stained with DOPE-Atto647.