Pressure jump relaxation investigations of lipid membranes using FTIR spectroscopy

Schiewek, Martin; Blume, Alfred
February 2009
European Biophysics Journal;Feb2009, Vol. 38 Issue 2, p219
Academic Journal
The relaxation kinetics of aqueous lipid dispersions after a pressure jump (p-jump) were investigated using time-resolved FTIR spectroscopy. The methylene stretching vibrational band and the carbonyl band were analyzed to detect changes in conformational order of the hydrocarbon chains and to follow the degree of hydration of the head group, respectively. The kinetics of the transition was found to consist of multiple processes with relaxation constants from seconds down to milliseconds. Faster processes are also present, but could not be resolved by our instrument. This is the first investigation showing directly the time resolved change in chain order in lipid bilayers induced by a p-jump. The results obtained with this IR detection method support previous results that the change in chain order after a perturbation is a multi-step process with the initial molecular events occurring with time constants shorter than milliseconds.


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