A spectroscopic method to estimate the binding potency of amphiphile assemblies

Gauger, D. R.; Andrushchenko, V. V.; Bouř, P.; Pohle, W.
September 2010
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Sep2010, Vol. 398 Issue 2, p1109
Academic Journal
fast and convenient spectroscopic methodology to determine the water uptake capacity of amphiphile assemblies studied in multilayer films is presented. This method was developed to provide a reliable but relatively simple tool for estimating the binding potency of such complex systems. The water-binding potency represents a general propensity of higher-order systems to bind or embed relevant ligands, such as various non-lipid effectors in the case of artificial lipid membranes. In this sense, the binding potency might contribute to a specific functional role of certain lipids. The essence of the new method is that the calibration of data measured by infrared (IR) spectroscopy against those directly obtained by Karl–Fischer titration (KFT) enables one to replace the expensive chemical–analytical technique by a more comfortable and efficient IR-spectroscopic protocol. This approach combines the easy handling, versatility, and availability of IR spectroscopy with the high accuracy of KFT. The usefulness of the procedure is demonstrated on an example set of six amphiphiles with a common chain length of 18 carbon atoms. Despite this similarity, the binding potency data differ tremendously in a way which can be correlated with the systematic variations introduced into the amphiphile structure. Going further beyond the methodical aspect, the scientific relevance of the data is comprehensively discussed especially in terms of the structural factors that govern the binding potency of amphiphiles. That is favored mainly by fluidity and disfavored mainly by inter-amphiphile binding networks. For phosphatidylcholine, our data are strongly in favor of a particular hydration model that involves primary water binding to phosphate as well as the formation of water semi-clathrates hosting the trimethylammonium moiety. Interestingly, stearylamine and diolein assemblies did not take up any water at all. This unexpected hydrophobicity is due to the unusual structures formed in these latter cases: rigid ammonium amide with a strong hydrogen-bonding/salt bridge network in stearylamine, and patches of inverted micelles in diolein, as revealed by molecular dynamics simulations. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]


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