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Constituting functional interactions between proteins and lipid membranes is one of the essential features of cellular membranes. The major challenge of quantitatively studying these interactions in living cells is the multitude of involved components that are difficult, if not impossible, to simultaneously control. Therefore, there is great need for simplified but still sufficiently detailed model systems to investigate the key constituents of biological processes. To specifically focus on interactions between membrane proteins and lipids, several membrane models have been introduced which recapitulate to varying degrees the complexity and physicochemical nature of biological membranes. Here, we summarize the presently most widely used minimal model membrane systems, namely Supported Lipid Bilayers (SLBs), Giant Unilamellar Vesicles (GUVs) and Giant Plasma Membrane Vesicles (GPMVs) and their applications for protein-membrane interactions.

Original publication




Journal article


Mol Membr Biol

Publication Date





144 - 154


Cell Membrane, Lipid Bilayers, Membrane Lipids, Membrane Proteins, Models, Biological, Unilamellar Liposomes