Structural properties of phosphatidylcholine in a monolayer at the air/water interface

D. Vaknin, K. Kjær, J. Als-Nielsen, M. Lösche

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearch


    Neutron reflectivities of phosphatidylcholine monolayers in the liquid condensed (LC) phase on ultrapure H2O and D2O subphases have been measured on a Langmuir film balance. Using a dedicated liquid surface reflectometer, reflectivities down to R = 10(-6) in the momentum transfer range Q(z) = 0-0.4 Angstrom-1 were accessed.

    In a new approach, by refining neutron reflectivity data from chain-perdeuterated DPPC-d62 in combination with x-ray measurements on the same monolayer under similar conditions it is shown that the two techniques mutually complement one another. This analysis leads to a detailed conception of the interface structure. It is found that in the LC phase (which is analogous to the L-beta phase in vesicle dispersions) the head group is interpenetrated with subphase water (4 +/- 2.5 molecules per lipid) and the average tilt angle of the hydrophobic chains from the surface normal is 33 +/- 3 degrees.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBiophysical Journal
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)1325-1332
    Publication statusPublished - 1991


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