Thermo-driven self-assembly of a PEG-containing amphiphile in a bilayer membrane
Self-assembly of lipid molecules in a plasma membrane, namely lipid raft formation, is involved in various dynamic functions of cells. Inspired by the raft formation observed in the cells, here we studied thermally induced self-assembly of a synthetic amphiphile, bola-AkDPA, in a bilayer membrane. The synthetic amphiphile consists of a hydrophobic unit including fluorescent aromatic and aliphatic components and hydrophilic tetraethylene glycol chains attached at both ends of the hydrophobic unit. In a polar solvent, bola-AkDPA formed aggregates to show excimer emission. In a lipid bilayer membrane, bola-AkDPA showed intensified excimer emission upon increase of its concentration or elevation of the temperature; bola-type amphiphiles containing oligoethylene glycol chains likely tend to form self-assemblies in a bilayer membrane triggered by thermal stimuli.