The morphology of synthetic glycolipids with lactose oligomers (Lac N, the number of lactose units, N = 1, 2, 3) was studied in lamellar phase. By a systematic combination of differential scanning calorimetry and small- and wide-angle x-ray scattering experiments, the effects of hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance on their thermotropic phase behaviors were discussed. The dispersion of Lac 1 exhibited a crystalline-fluid phase transition, dominated by the strong van der Waals interaction between dihexadecyl chains. In the case of Lac 2, the hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance between the headgroup and the alkyl chains is shifted to the hydrophilic side, resulting in a gel-fluid phase transition with a decreased transition temperature and phase transition enthalpy. Different from the first two systems, the differential scanning calorimetry trace of Lac 3 showed much less remarkable peaks. The small- and wide-angle x-ray diffraction patterns did not reveal any transition in the chain ordering, suggesting that the correlation between the hexasaccharide headgroups is so strong that the melting of the alkyl chains was not allowed. Such dominant effects of the hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance on the morphology of Lac N lipids can be attributed to the small sterical mismatch between the alkyl chains and the linear, cylindrical oligolactose groups.
Schneider, M. F., Zantl, R., Gege, C., Schmidt, R. R., Rappolt, M., & Tanaka, M. (2003). Hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance determines morphology of glycolipids with oligolactose headgroups. Biophysical Journal, 84(1), 306–313. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(03)74851-6