The use of model systems for cell membranes offers a convenient technique to investigate the interactions of single molecules and thereby provides an insight into the mode of interaction of the molecule with the cell membrane. Our Centre uses planar lipid bilayers as models to mimic the cell membrane as it offers versatility to manipulate bath concentrations and is easily amenable to electrical measurements. Determination of the extent of interactions of the molecule with the lipid bil ayer can be directly correlated with the changes in membrane capacitance and conductance. The electrophysiology laboratory is equipped with electrometers, picoammeters and electrochemical workstations to measure the changes in electrical parameters of the lipid bilayer in response to the analyte.

Currently, evaluation of the transition between anti- and pro-oxidant states of flavonoids and their transition metal ion complexes are under investigation. Also, evaluation of the conditions leading to reversible pore formation by marine sponge toxins is being carried out at the Centre to develop a novel transfection agent for gene therapy.