Biomembranes form the reaction vessels for the chemical machinery of life. Universally from small bacteria to human cells, they are confining all necessary components and nutrients. Material and information transport can occur controllably and selectively through exo- and endocytosis, transmembrane proteins or sometimes just by diffusion. This vital role of membrane proteins in orchestrating cellular processes, has made them also essential drug targets. Up to 70% percent of new drugs address membrane proteins. In a different aspect, biomembranes represent an intriguing physical structure: a molecularly thin two-dimensional fluid, where the motion of molecules is restricted in normal direction of the membrane, while they can easily diffuse laterally.
I have been researching how to construct fluidic systems out of lipids (biomembranes), which could be used in order to develop models for membrane biophysics and methods for bioanalysis.
Figure: "Nano-Heart" - molecularly thin film of lipid membrane written on glass surface with multifunctional pipette ("Lab on a Biomembrane")