- Membranes in Focus

You want to investigate membrane related events and need a free standing lipid bilayer? The traditional vertical approach is of limited use because you need primarily optical information and employ microscopy? You still need access to both sides of the membrane to change media and apply effectors?

The good news is: Ionovation has tilted the traditional lipid bilayer to the horizontal plane. The Ionovation Explorer offers the automated generation of free standing lipid bilayers and provides access to any standard inverted microscope approach, ranging from simple light microscopy to single molecule spectroscopy techniques like FCS, FIDA, FRET etc..

The Ionovation Explorer is a microscope add-on, it is easy to use and allows the combined use of high resolution microscopy and single molecule spectroscopy with state-of- the-art electrophysiology. The compact design fits on any inverted microscope and yet offers the automated membrane generation, perfusion of both sides, and an option for temperature control and monitoring.

It comes with the small-footprint “microscope unit” and the equally compact “control and pump unit” and can also be used as stand-alone for pure electrophysiology experiments.

In combination with the pre-manufactured Ionovation ExplorerSlides the system provides a solution for both beginners and experts. The Ionovation Explorer opens the path for a countless number of new experiments.

Published applications include (but are not limited to):

  • Reconstituted ion channels and pores from many sources
  • Lipid-flip-flop
  • Lateral membrane organization (lipid rafts)
  • ligand binding directly related to ion flux
  • binding studies under pre-defined membrane potentials
  • membrane associated protein oligomerization, aggregation & tracking
  • various lipid compositions in user controlled model membranes
  • Raman spectroscopy on artificial membranes
  • Probe use on artificial membranes

For more detailed information please contact our scientist Dr. Roland Hemmler directly.

Roland will be happy to discuss technical specifcations and possible applications with you, without any obligation.


Related Products: 

All biochemical and biophysical interactions are temperature dependent. Thus, many experiments in membrane biophysics benefit from an accurate temperature control and monitoring and this can open a whole new range of scientific insights.

  • Run your experiment under physiological conditions
  • Study kinetics at different temperatures
  • Adapt your experiment to the melting temperature of various lipid mixtures
  • Study the temperature dependence of protein-protein-, protein-ligand-, and protein-lipid-interactions
  • slow down fast activation kinetics of ion channels
  • monitor changes in the diffusion time of membrane components

The Ionovation ThermoMaster is designed for use with the Ionovation Explorer and offers full temperature control of your bilayer experiments with ease, reproducibility, and complete documentation. Just place the dedicated proprietary ThermoSlide into the Ionovation Explorer, put the Thermocoupler frame and sensor on top, select your temperature protocol, and start your experiment.

General Features

  • Temperature range ca. 10°C - 40°C
  • Proprietary, high heat conducting Thermo Slides
  • Low noise temperature monitoring in immediate proximity to the membrane
  • Live temperature recording
  • Automated temperature protocol options
  • Control via patchmaster script
  • Simultaneous use with the Ionovation Explorer perfusion unit

 For more detailed information please contact our scientist Dr. Roland Hemmler directly.


NEW: The Ionovation Explorer keeps evolving. The latest addition is the Ionovation DropIn dispenser option. With this little extra which can be retrofitted on any existing Ionovation Explorer you can apply lipid, compounds, and effectors directly to your membrane under investigation without opening the lid or interrupting the experiment.

For more detailed information please contact our scientist Dr. Roland Hemmler directly.


The IonoVation Explorer Slide is an economic tool for your membrane biophysics work and allows the easy, quick, and reproducible formation of horizontal, free floating BLMs, specifically when used with the IonoVation Explorer.   

  • pre-manufactured, individually sealed and ready for use
  • Designed for automated bilayer production and validation with the Ionovation Bilayer Explorer
  • membrane within the working distance of a high numerical aperture objective (100µm)
  • Low liquid volumes (100µl)
  • Integrated micro-channels providing fast fluid exchange of cis and trans compartments
  • Bilayer apertures available from 70 - 300µm (standard 120 µm)
  • Highest optical grade glass bottom; clear borosilicate
  • Suitable for all objective lenses and magnifications; air, water, and oil immersion
  • No autofluorescence
  • Biocompatible and chemically robust composite slide material
  • 5 extra-wells for calibration or test purpose
  • Available also as "Thermo-Slide" in heat conducting material

For more detailed information please contact our scientist Dr. Roland Hemmler directly. 


The Ionovation Capmeter is a small and robust electronic device used to automatically generate and monitor your membranes on the Ionovation Explorer. It replaces the electrophysiology amplifier. Users who do not need to measure currents through ion channels or pores get an easy and inexpensive instrument to produce and monitor a free standing horizontal lipid bilayer on their inverted microscope.

For more detailed information please contact our scientist Dr. Roland Hemmler directly.


 For lipids, chambers and accessories please use IonoTools