Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 47, 2012
Previous Article Next Article

Partitioning of ethanol into lipid membranes and its effect on fluidity and permeability as seen by X-ray and neutron scattering

Author affiliations

Abstract

We present a combined neutron and X-ray scattering investigation to study the effect of ethanol on the molecular structure and dynamics of lipid membranes. 1,2-Dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phoshatidylcholine (DMPC) powder hydrated with a 5 wt% ethanol solution (corresponding to 2 mol% of ethanol) was used in this study. From high-resolution X-ray experiments the position and partitioning of the ethanol molecules in the phospholipid bilayers was determined in their gel and fluid phases. We find that the ethanol molecules reside in the head group region of the bilayers, with 1.6 ethanol molecules per lipid molecule in the gel phase and 1.2 ethanol molecules per lipid molecule in the fluid phase. We find evidence for enhanced permeability in both fluid and gel phases of the phospholipid bilayers in the presence of ethanol molecules. Elastic and quasi-elastic neutron scattering data, obtained using a neutron backscattering spectrometer, was used to study slow, nanosecond molecular dynamics on length scales corresponding to lipid diffusion, acyl chain dynamics and solvent dynamics. While the presence of ethanol molecules had no observable effect on these types of dynamics in the fluid (Lα) phase, the membranes appeared to have a higher degree of order in gel (Lβ) and ripple (Pβ′) phases. In particular, lipid diffusion was found to be slower by a factor of two in the more rigid gel phase when ethanol was present.

Graphical abstract: Partitioning of ethanol into lipid membranes and its effect on fluidity and permeability as seen by X-ray and neutron scattering

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 03 Jul 2012, accepted on 11 Sep 2012 and first published on 01 Oct 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM26546J
Citation: Soft Matter, 2012,8, 11839-11849
  •   Request permissions

    Partitioning of ethanol into lipid membranes and its effect on fluidity and permeability as seen by X-ray and neutron scattering

    L. Toppozini, C. L. Armstrong, M. A. Barrett, S. Zheng, L. Luo, H. Nanda, V. G. Sakai and M. C. Rheinstädter, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 11839
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SM26546J

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements