Detailed hydration and temperature study of phosphocholine lipids.

  • Stuart W Prescott (Creator)
  • ABBOTT Stephen (Creator)
  • Robert Barker (Creator)
  • COSGROVE Terence (Creator)
  • DE VOS Wiebe (Creator)
  • MEARS Laura (Creator)
  • Robert M Richardson (Creator)



The behaviour of lipid bilayers under various types of pressure is a well established research area, as bilayer stacks provide a good model for biological systems. We have recently developed a unique surface force style apparatus which combines a confining pressure with neutron reflection measurements to determine the structure of thin films. This has been applied to a stack of lipid bilayers in a recent experiment on D17 with very interesting results. Below and above the gel to liquid phase transition in the zwitterionic phosphocholine lipid, DPPC, different behaviour was observed. Despite a loss of the hydration layer in both, in the gel phase the inter layer spacing decreased as one would expect but in the liquid phase it increased. This implies a phase change; however the mechanical pressure applied (5 bar) is significantly less than the hydrostatic pressure required for this change. The influence of hydration therefore needs to be thoroughly determined across a range of both temperatures and hydration. The relative humidity cell on D16 will allows us to correlate changes in internal structure with relative humidity at temperatures corresponding directly to our previous data.
Date made available3 Jun 2018
PublisherInstitut Laue-Langevin (ILL)

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