Skip to main content

Physical insights into biological memory using phospholipid membranes

by Dima Bolmatov, Charles P Collier, John Katsaras, Maxim Lavrentovich
Publication Type
Journal Name
The European Physical Journal E
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1 to 10

Electrical signals may propagate along neuronal membranes in the brain, thus enabling communication between nerve cells. In doing so, lipid bilayers, fundamental scaffolds of all cell membranes, deform and restructure in response to such electrical activity. These changes impact the electromechanical properties of the membrane, which then physically store biological memory. This memory can exist either over a short or long period of time. Traditionally, biological memory is defined by the strengthening or weakening of transmissions between individual neurons. Here, we show that electrical stimulation may also alter the properties of the lipid membrane, thus pointing toward a novel mechanism for memory storage. Furthermore, based on the analysis of existing electrophysiological data, we study molecular mechanisms underlying the long-term potentiation in phospholipid membranes. Finally, we examine possible relationships between the memory capacitive properties of lipid membranes, neuronal learning, and memory.