Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Visualization of diffusion limited antimicrobial peptide attack on supported lipid membranes

Heath, George R.; Harrison, Patrick L.; Strong, Peter N.; Evans, Stephen D.; Miller, Keith


George R. Heath

Patrick L. Harrison

Peter N. Strong

Stephen D. Evans

Keith Miller


Understanding the mechanism of action of antimicrobial peptides (AMP) is fundamental to the development and design of peptide based antimicrobials. Utilizing fast-scan atomic force microscopy (AFM) we detail the attack of an AMP on both prototypical prokaryotic (DOPC:DOPG) and eukaryotic (DOPC:DOPE) model lipid membranes on the nanoscale and in real time. Previously shown to have a favourable therapeutic index, we study Smp43, an AMP with a helical-hinge-helical topology isolated from the venom of the North African scorpion Scorpio maurus palmatus. We observe the dynamic formation of highly branched defects being supported by 2D diffusion models and further experimental data from liposome leakage assays and quartz crystal microbalance-dissipation (QCM-D) analysis, we propose that Smp43 disrupts these membranes via a common mechanism, which we have termed ‘diffusion limited disruption’ that encompasses elements of both the carpet model and the expanding pore mechanism.


Heath, G. R., Harrison, P. L., Strong, P. N., Evans, S. D., & Miller, K. (2018). Visualization of diffusion limited antimicrobial peptide attack on supported lipid membranes. Soft matter, 14(29), 6146-6154.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 18, 2016
Online Publication Date Jul 12, 2018
Publication Date 2018
Deposit Date May 7, 2019
Publicly Available Date May 8, 2019
Journal Soft Matter
Print ISSN 1744-683X
Electronic ISSN 1744-6848
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 29
Pages 6146-6154
Keywords Antimicrobial peptides (AMP); Lipid membranes
Public URL
Publisher URL!divAbstract
Additional Information This is the accepted manuscript of an article published in Soft matter, 2018. The version of record is available at the DOI link in this record.


Article (9.9 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Creative Commons Licence: Attribution License. See:

You might also like

Downloadable Citations