Tethered bilayer lipid membranes are promising biomimetic architectures. Their formation has been investigated using four different surface sensitive techniques, including optical, acoustic, and electrical methods. The lipid bilayers are built in a two-step procedure; the proximal layer is formed by self-assembly and is then completed to a bilayer by fusion with small vesicles. The different technical approaches revealed specific aspects of the layer formation processes, namely, first a fast adsorption process followed by a longer rearrangement period. Similar phenomena have been observed for the vesicle fusion process. The results allow for a more controlled assembly protocol for the preparation of highly insulating lipid membranes.

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