During the last few years, there has been an extraordinary increase in publications describing the manifold applications of monoolein, one of the most important lipids in the fields of drug delivery, emulsion stabilization and protein crystallization. In this perspective we present a comprehensive review of the phase behavior of this ‘magic lipid’. An account of various mesophases formed in the presence of water and a collection of formulae for the calculation of their nano-structural parameters are provided. Effects of chemical and biological molecules including lipids, detergents, salts, sugars, proteins and DNA on the classical behavior are also discussed. Physicochemical triggers such as, temperature, pressure and shearing modulate the phase behavior of monoolein self assemblies that are covered in subsequent sections. Finally the growing applications of monoolein in various fields are also reported.
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