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A nonpolar, nonamphiphilic molecule can accelerate adsorption of phospholipids and lower their surface tension at the air/water interface.

Chemphyschem : a European journal of chemical physics and physical chemistry (2011-08-03)
Phuc Nghia Nguyen, Thuan Thao Trinh Dang, Gilles Waton, Thierry Vandamme, Marie Pierre Krafft
ABSTRACT

The adsorption dynamics of a series of phospholipids (PLs) at the interface between an aqueous solution or dispersion of the PL and a gas phase containing the nonpolar, nonamphiphilic linear perfluorocarbon perfluorohexane (PFH) was studied by bubble profile analysis tensiometry. The PLs investigated were dioctanoylphosphatidylcholine (DiC(8)-PC), dilaurylphosphatidylcholine, dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine, and dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine. The gas phase consisted of air or air saturated with PFH. The perfluorocarbon gas was found to have an unexpected, strong effect on both the adsorption rate and the equilibrium interfacial tension (γ(eq)) of the PLs. First, for all of the PLs, and at all concentrations investigated, the γ(eq) values were significantly lower (by up to 10 mN m(-1)) when PFH was present in the gas phase. The efficacy of PFH in decreasing γ(eq) depends on the ability of PLs to form micelles or vesicles in water. For vesicles, it also depends on the gel or fluid state of the membranes. Second, the adsorption rates of all the PLs at the interface (as assessed by the time required for the initial interfacial tension to be reduced by 30%) are significantly accelerated (by up to fivefold) by the presence of PFH for the lower PL concentrations. Both the surface-tension reducing effect and the adsorption rate increasing effect establish that PFH has a strong interaction with the PL monolayer and acts as a cosurfactant at the interface, despite the absence of any amphiphilic character. Fitting the adsorption profiles of DiC(8)-PC at the PFH-saturated air/aqueous solution interface with the modified Frumkin model indicated that the PFH molecule lay horizontally at the interface.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Tetradecafluorohexane, A mixture of perfluorinated hexanes, 95%
Sigma-Aldrich
Tetradecafluorohexane, 99%