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A releaseable membrane structure for producing a free membrane containing a substrate, a release stratum on the substrate and a membrane stratum on the release stratum. The release stratum and the membrane stratum contain oppositely-charged polyelectrolytes that are associated. The oppositely-charged polyelectrolytes of the release stratum are selected to dissociate upon application of stimulus whereas those of the membrane stratum are selected to remain associated upon application of the stimulus. Thus, when the stimulus is applied the polyelectrolytes in release stratum dissociate and the membrane stratum is released from the substrate and is a free membrane.