Physicochemical properties of phosphatidylcholine (PC) monolayers with different alkyl chains, at the air/water interface

Heejung Yun, Young Wook Choi, Nam Jeong Kim, Daewon Sohn

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Physicochemical properties of a series of PC monolayers with different alkyl chains (C24, C20, C16, and C8), at the air/water interface were investigated. The surface pressure is influenced mainly by the hydrophobicity of the PCs, which is confirmed by the curve shape and the on-set value of π-A isotherms at the air/water interface by increasing the number of alkyl chain. The on-set values of surface pressure were 125 Å2/molecule for DOPC(C8), 87 Å2/molecule for DPPC(C16), 75 Å2/molecule for DAPC(C20), and 55 Å2/molecule for DLPC(C24), respectively. The orientations of alkyl chains at the air/water interface are closely connected with the rigidity of the monolayers, and it was confirmed by the tendency of monolayer thickness in ellipsometry data. The temperature dependence of a series of PCs shows that the surface pressure decreases by increasing temperature, because the longer the alkyl chain length, the larger the hydrophobic interaction in surface pressure. The temperature effects and the conformational changes of unsaturated and saturated PCs were confirmed by the computer simulation study of the cis-trans transition with POPC and DPPC(C16). The cis-trans conformational energy difference of POPC is 62.06 kcal/mol and that of DPPC(C16) 16) is 6.75 kcal/mol. Due to the high conformational energy barrier of POPC, phase transition of POPC is limited in comparison with DPPC(C16).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-383
Number of pages7
JournalBulletin of the Korean Chemical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003 Mar 20



  • Hydrophobicity
  • Langmuir-Blodgett monolayer
  • Phosphatidylcholine
  • Unsaturated phosphatidylcholine

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