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Biophys J. 1985 Feb;47(2 Pt 1):203-9.

Phospholipid surface bilayers at the air-water interface. I. Thermodynamic properties.


Dispersions of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) in water spontaneously form a surface bilayer at the equilibrium air/water surface (Gershfeld, N. L., and K. Tajima, 1979, Nature [Lond.]. 279: 708-709). This phenomenon has now been demonstrated with dispersions of dioleoylphosphatidylcholine (DOPC), dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC), and with a mixture of DMPC and DOPC. Each of these dispersions forms a surface bilayer at a singularity in temperature that is a characteristic of the phospholipid. The surface bilayer formed by the lipid mixture is shown to have the same composition as the bulk liquid-crystal phase of the dispersion, and the surface components have identical partial molar entropies as the bulk lipid components. These properties indicate that the surface bilayer has the same structure as the bilayer in the liquid-crystal phase of the bulk dispersion.

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