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Langmuir. 2012 May 15;28(19):7470-5. doi: 10.1021/la3008552. Epub 2012 May 3.

Impact of membrane fluidity on steric stabilization by lipopolymers.

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Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616, USA.


In this work, the impact of lipid lateral mobility on the steric interaction between membranes containing poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) functionalized lipids was investigated using the surface force apparatus. The force-distance profiles show the presence of electrostatic and steric repulsion that arise from the presence of negatively charged PEG functionalized lipids. Fluid-phase bilayers have high lateral diffusion relative to gel-phase bilayers; however, a quantitative comparison of the interaction forces between membranes in these two different phase states demonstrates a reduced rate of diffusion in the fluid phase for the PEG-lipids under constrained geometries. Thus, the amount of polymer in the contact zone can be modulated and is reduced with fluid membranes; however, complete exclusion was not achieved. As a result, the steric repulsion afforded by PEG chains or binding affinity of ligated PEG chains can only be modestly tailored by the phase state of the liposome.

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