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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1988 Feb 18;938(2):135-42.

Specific volumes of lipids in fully hydrated bilayer dispersions.

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Department of Physics, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.


The neutral buoyancy method of obtaining absolute specific volumes of lipid in multilamellar dispersions is critically investigated. Control experiments show that there is no preferential partitioning of 2H2O vs. H2O into the liposomes, and several thermodynamic properties of the samples, such as the enthalpy change and the volume change of the main transition, are changed very little with deuteration of the solvent. The assumption that the molecular volume of the solvent in the interlamellar space is essentially the same as in bulk solution is discussed; and it is shown to introduce rather small corrections. Previous procedures have been modified to avoid possible kinetic limitations in phases with low water permeability. It is concluded that the molecular volume of lipid in bilayers can be obtained to an accuracy better than 0.002 nm3 (2A3) which is less than 0.2% of typical molecular volumes of lipids.

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