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Novel properties of molecular assemblies of isoprenoid surfactants

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Unlike micelles of straight hydrocarbon chain-surfactants, isoprenoid surfactants, CH3 [CH(CH3)CH2CH2CH2]3 CH(CH3)CH2−R (R=CH2N+ (CH3)3 Br, CH2OPO3H Na+, CH2OSO 3 Na+, CO 2 Na+), gave large globular and cellular assemblies in water which could be observed directly by transmission electron microscopy; critical micelle concentration of 0.3∼1.4×10−3 M at 20°C, aggregation number of 2∼15×104, and diameter of 200–2000 Å. A basic structure of the assemblies was a thin layer with a thickness (about 30 Å) which was close to the molecular length of the surfactants. The assemblies were decomposed during gel column chromatography; viz., they were not as stable as the liposomes of lecithins. The morphology was discussed in conjunction with a steric effect of the isoprenoid chain.

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Correspondence to K. Yamauchi.

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Yamauchi, K., Togawa, K., Moriya, T. et al. Novel properties of molecular assemblies of isoprenoid surfactants. Colloid Polym Sci 273, 96–100 (1995).

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Key words

  • Molecular assembly
  • archaebacterium
  • isoprenoid surfactant
  • transmission electron microscopy (TEM)