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Langmuir. 2011 Sep 20;27(18):11444-50. doi: 10.1021/la2016879. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

Insertion mechanism of a poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(butylene oxide) block copolymer into a DPPC monolayer.

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  • 1Chemical Engineering Department, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


Interactions between amphiphilic block copolymers and lipids are of medical interest for applications such as drug delivery and the restoration of damaged cell membranes. A series of monodisperse poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(butylene oxide) (EOBO) block copolymers were obtained with two ratios of hydrophilic/hydrophobic block lengths. We have explored the surface activity of EOBO at a clean interface and under 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) monolayers as a simple cell membrane model. At the same subphase concentration, EOBO achieved higher equilibrium surface pressures under DPPC compared to a bare interface, and the surface activity was improved with longer poly(butylene oxide) blocks. Further investigation of the DPPC/EOBO monolayers showed that combined films exhibited similar surface rheology compared to pure DPPC at the same surface pressures. DPPC/EOBO phase separation was observed in fluorescently doped monolayers, and within the liquid-expanded liquid-condensed coexistence region for DPPC, EOBO did not drastically alter the liquid-condensed domain shapes. Grazing incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXD) and X-ray reflectivity (XRR) quantitatively confirmed that the lattice spacings and tilt of DPPC in lipid-rich regions of the monolayer were nearly equivalent to those of a pure DPPC monolayer at the same surface pressures.

© 2011 American Chemical Society

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