Effect of acyl chain mismatch on the contact mechanics of two-component phospholipid vesicle during main phase transition

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-153
Journal / PublicationBiophysical Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2003
Externally publishedYes


It has been recently demonstrated that acyl chain mismatch of phospholipid bilayer composed of a binary lipid mixture induces component formation on the lateral plane of the bilayer [Biophys. J. 83 (2002) 1820-1883]. In this report, the contact mechanics of unilamellar vesicles composed of binary dimyristoyl-phosphatidylcholine (DMPC)/dipalmitoyl-phosphocholine (DPPC) mixtures on fused silica and amino-modified substrates is simultaneously probed by confocal-reflectance interference contrast microscopy (C-RICM) and cross-polarized light microscopy during gel to liquid crystalline transition of the lipid bilayer. C-RICM results indicate that the average degree of vesicle deformation for DMPC-rich and DPPC-rich vesicles adhering on fused silica substrate is increased by 30% and 14%, respectively, in comparison with that in pure DMPC and DPPC vesicles. Also, lateral heterogeneity induced by acyl chain mismatch increases the average magnitude of adhesion energy in DMPC-rich and DPPC-rich vesicles of all sizes by 6.4 times and 2.3 times, respectively. Similar modulation of adhesion mechanics induced by carbon chain difference is obtained on amino-modified substrate. Most importantly, the thermotropic transition of the mixed bilayer from gel (below Tm) to fluid phase (above Tm) further exemplifies the effect of acyl chain mismatch on the increases of degree of vesicle deformation and adhesion energy. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Acyl chain mismatch, Contact mechanics, Phospholipid vesicle