Structure of DPPC–hyaluronan interfacial layers – effects of molecular weight and ion composition†
Hyaluronan and phospholipids play an important role in lubrication in articular joints and provide in combination with glycoproteins exceptionally low friction coefficients. We have investigated the structural organization of 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) Langmuir layers at the solution-air interface at different length scales with respect to the adsorption of hyaluronan (HA). This allows us to assemble a comprehensive picture of the adsorption and the resulting structures, and how they are affected by the molecular weight of HA and the presence of calcium ions. Brewster angle microscopy and grazing incident diffraction were used to determine the lateral structure at the micro- and macro scale. The data reveals an influence of HA on both the macro and micro structure of the DPPC Langmuir layer, and that the strength of this effect increases with decreasing molecular weight of HA and in presence of calcium ions. Furthermore, from X-ray reflectivity measurements we conclude that HA adsorbs to the hydrophilic part of DPPC, but data also suggest that two types of interfacial structures are formed at the interface. We argue that hydrophobic forces and electrostatic interactions play important rules for the association between DPPC and HA. Surface pressure area isotherms were used to determine the influence of HA on the phase behavior of DPPC while electrophoretic mobility measurements were used to gain insight into the binding of calcium ions to DPPC vesicles and hyaluronan.