Binary phase behavior of saturated cholesterol esters with trilaurin or cholesterol, and cholesterol with trilaurin, is studied. The existence of specific molecular interactions is detected by comparing the liquidus curve of the eutectic with ideal theory of freezing point depression and correcting the theoretical curve with the Bragg-Williams model when necessary. X-ray data indicate that all eutectic solids are nearly totally fractionated. The phase diagrams are sometimes well-explained by ideal solution theory indicating that polar interactions (e.g., the hydrogen bonding of cholesterol) are much less important than van der Waals interactions between neighboring molecules. However, the hydrogen bonding networks of cholesterol can lead to nonideal solution behavior with other lipids, a phenomenon consistent with previous observations on simpler molecular binaries. An observed nonideal solution behavior of triacylglycerol with cholesterol esters, on the other hand, is unexpected since significant polar interactions are expected to be 'buried' in the predominant nonpolar volume of the molecules involved.
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