Colloids and surfaces. B, Biointerfaces

Temperature-dependent structural changes on DDAB surfactant assemblies evidenced by energy dispersive X-ray diffraction and dynamic light scattering.

PMID 22429784


Cationic amphiphile DDAB (dimethyl-dioctadecyl-ammonium-bromide) can spontaneously form water-dispersed and solid supported mimicking biomembrane structures as well as valuable DNA delivery vehicles whose shape, stability and transfection efficiency can be easily optimized on varying temperature, water content and chemical composition. In this framework, disclosing the thermotropic behavior of DDAB assemblies can be considered as an essential step in conceiving and developing new non-viral vector systems. Our work has been focused primarily on understanding the mesophase structure of silicon supported DDAB thin film on varying temperature at constant relative humidity by energy dispersive X-ray diffraction (EDXD). Diffraction results have then been employed in providing a more comprehensive dynamic light scattering (DLS) analysis of corresponding thermotropic water dispersed vesicles made up of DDAB alone and in combination with helper lecithin DOPC (1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine) liposomes. We found that above 55 °C silicon-supported DDAB films undergo a significant thinning effect, whilst DDAB-water vesicles exhibit a reduction in size polydispersity. Upon cooling to 25 °C a distinct silicon supported DDAB mesophase, exhibiting a relative humidity-dependent spacing, has been pointed out, and modeled in terms of a lyotropic metastable gel-crystalline phase.DDAB/DOPC-water vesicles show a temperature-dependent switching in size distribution, leading to promising biomedical applications.