Langmuir monolayers composed of single and double tail sulfobetaine lipids

Gavin D A Hazell, Anthony Gee, T Arnold, Karen J Edler, Simon Lewis

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Abstract

HYPOTHESIS:

Owing to structural similarities between sulfobetaine lipids and phospholipids it should be possible to form stable Langmuir monolayers from long tail sulfobetaines. By modification of the density of lipid tail group (number of carbon chains) it should also be possible to modulate the two-dimensional phase behaviour of these lipids and thereby compare with that of equivalent phospholipids. Potentially this could enable the use of such lipids for the wide array of applications that currently use phospholipids. The benefit of using sulfobetaine lipids is that they can be synthesised by a one-step reaction from cheap and readily available starting materials and will degrade via different pathways than natural lipids. The molecular architecture of the lipid can be easily modified allowing the design of lipids for specific purposes. In addition the reversal of the charge within the sulfobetaine head group relative to the charge orientation in phospholipids may modify behaviour and thereby allow for novel uses of these surfactants.

EXPERIMENTS:

Stable Langmuir monolayers were formed composed of single and double tailed sulfobetaine lipids. Surface pressure-area isotherm, Brewster Angle Microscopy and X-ray and neutron reflectometry measurements were conducted to measure the two-dimensional phase behaviour and out-of-plane structure of the monolayers as a function of molecular area.

FINDINGS:

Sulfobetaine lipids are able to form stable Langmuir monolayers with two dimensional phase behaviour analogous to that seen for the well-studied phospholipids. Changing the number of carbon tail groups on the lipid from one to two promotes the existence of a liquid condensed phase due to increased Van der Waals interactions between the tail groups. Thus the structure of the monolayers appears to be defined by the relative sizes of the head and tail groups in a predictable way. However, the presence of sub-phase ions has little effect on the monolayer structure, behaviour that is surprisingly different to that seen for phospholipids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-198
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Volume474
Early online date26 Apr 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • Sulfobetaine
  • Lipids
  • Langmuir monolayers
  • Reflectometry
  • Air-water interface

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