Tethered bilayer lipid membranes (tBLMs) are robust and flexible model platforms for the investigation of various membrane related processes. They are especially suited to study the incorporation and function of ion channel proteins, where a high background resistance of the membrane is essential. Synthetic M2 peptides, analogues of the transmembrane fragment of the acetylcholine receptor, could be incorporated into two different membrane architectures. The functional reconstitution and the formation of a conducting pore are shown by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The pore is selective for small monovalent cations, while bulky ions cannot pass. This is a significant step towards a novel biosensing approach. We envision a device, where a stable and insulating membrane would be attached to an electronic read-out unit and embedded proteins would serve as actual sensing units. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.