Repulsive interactions between uncharged bilayers. Hydration and fluctuation pressures for monoglycerides

T J McIntosh, A D Magid, S A Simon
Biophysical Journal 1989, 55 (5): 897-904
Pressure versus distance relations have been obtained for solid (gel) and neat (liquid-crystalline) phase uncharged lipid bilayers by the use of x-ray diffraction analysis of osmotically stressed monoglyceride aqueous dispersions and multilayers. For solid phase monoelaidin bilayers, the interbilayer repulsive pressure decays exponentially from a bilayer separation of approximately 7 A at an applied pressure of 3 x 10(7) dyn/cm2 to a separation of approximately 11 A at zero applied pressure, where an excess water phase forms. The decay length is approximately 1.3 A, which is similar to the value previously measured for gel phase phosphatidylcholine bilayers. This implies that the decay length of the hydration pressure does not depend critically on the presence of zwitterionic head groups in the bilayer surface. For liquid-crystalline monocaprylin, the repulsive pressure versus distance curve has two distinct regions. In the first region, for bilayer separations of approximately 3-8 A and applied pressures of 3 x 10(8) to 4 x 10(6) dyn/cm2, the pressure decays exponentially with a decay length of approximately 1.3 A. In the second region, for bilayer separations of approximately 8-22 A and applied pressures of 4 x 10(6) to 1 x 10(5) dyn/cm2, the pressure decays much more gradually and is inversely proportional to the cube of the distance between bilayers. These data imply that two repulsive pressures operate between liquid-crystalline monocaprylin bilayers, the hydration pressure, which dominates at small (3-8 A) bilayer separations, and the fluctuation pressure, which dominates at larger bilayer separations (greater than 8 A) and strongly influences the hydration properties of the liquid-crystalline bilayers. Thus, due primarily to thermally induced fluctuations, monocaprylin bilayers imbibe considerably more water than do monoelaidin bilayers. For both monoelaidin andmonocaprylin, the measured magnitude of the hydration pressure is found to be proportional to the square of the dipole potential.

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