Liposomes characterized by membranes featuring diverse fluidity (liquid-crystalline and/or gel phase), prepared from egg yolk lecithin (EYL) and dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC), were doped with selected metalloporphyrins and the time-related structural and dynamic changes within the lipid double layer were investigated. Porphyrin complexes of Mg(II), Mn(III), Fe(III), Co(II), Ni(II), Cu(II), Zn(II), and the metal-free base were embedded into the particular liposome systems and tested for 350 h at 24°C using the electron spin resonance (ESR) spin probe technique. 5-DOXYL, 12-DOXYL, and 16-DOXYL stearic acid methyl ester spin labels were applied to explore the interior of the lipid bilayer. Only the 16-DOXYL spin probe detected evident structural changes inside the lipid system due to porphyrin intercalation. Fluidity of the lipid system and the type of the porphyrin complex introduced significantly affected the intermolecular interactions, which in certain cases may result in self-assembly of metalloporphyrin molecules within the liposome membrane, reflected in the presence of new lines in the relevant ESR spectra. The most pronounced time-related effects were demonstrated by the EYL liposomes (liquid-crystalline phase) when doped with Mg and Co porphyrins, whereas practically no spectral changes were revealed for the metal-free base and both the Ni and Zn dopants. ESR spectra of the porphyrin-doped gel phase of DPPC liposomes did not show any extra lines; however, they indicated the formation of a more rigid lipid medium. Electronic configuration of the porphyrin's metal center appeared crucial to the degree of molecular reorganization within the phospholipid bilayer system.
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