Critical pressures in multicomponent lipid monolayers

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Abstract

Epifluorescence microscopy has been used previously to study coexisting liquid phases in lipid monolayers of dihydrocholesterol and dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine at the air/water interface. This binary mixture has a critical point at room temperature (22°C), a monolayer pressure of approx. 10 mN/m, and a composition in the vicinity of 20-30 mol% dihydrocholesterol. It is reported here that this critical pressure can be lowered, raised, or maintained constant by systematically replacing molecules of this phosphatidylcholine with molecules of a phosphatidylethanolamine, or an unsaturated phosphatidylcholine, or mixtures of the two, while maintaining the dihydrocholesterol concentration at 20 mol%. Thus, even complex mixtures of lipids may be characterized by a single, well-defined second-order phase transition. In principle, such transitions might be found in biological membranes.

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Hagen, J. P., & McConnell, H. M. (1996). Critical pressures in multicomponent lipid monolayers. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes, 1280(2), 169–172. https://doi.org/10.1016/0005-2736(96)00009-0

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