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Emerging roles of air gases in lipid bilayers

Post Date:2018-09-27

Chia-Wei Lee, Ya-Ling Chiang, Ji-Ting Liu, Yi-Xian Chen, Chau-Hwang Lee*, Yeng-Long Chen*, and Ing-Shouh Hwang*

Small 14, 1802133 (2018)

Ing-Shouh Hwang, Yeng-Long Chen of Institute of Physics, and Chau-Hwang Lee of Research Center for Applied Sciences, together with their co-workers, report enrichment of dissolved air gases in lipid bilayers, which affects the mechanical properties and stability of lipid bilayers in aqueous solutions. Experimental measurements were based on differential confocal microscopy and fluorescence microscopy on giant unilamellar lipid vesicles, and atomic force microscopy on supported lipid bilayers. In comparison to lipid bilayers in ambient solutions (without gas control), the bilayers in degassed solutions are softer and less stable. High concentrations of nitrogen increase the bending moduli and stability of the lipid bilayers and impede phase separation in ternary lipid bilayers. Molecular dynamic simulations verified the enrichment of nitrogen and oxygen inside the lipid bilayer in supersaturated solutions. The simulations found that nitrogen accumulate in the lipid bilayer, and higher nitrogen affinity to the lipid tails accounts for increased bending rigidity. This confirms experimental observations of increased lipid bilayer bending moduli with increasing gas concentration. These findings have fundamental and wide implications for phenomena related to lipid bilayers and cell membranes. The results also imply that dissolved air gases may affect the properties and self-assembly behaviors in other physical, chemical, and biological systems in solutions.圖片1.png

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