The Structures and Properties of Membrane Lipids

  • Robert B. Gennis
Part of the Springer Advanced Texts in Chemistry book series (SATC)


The previous chapter briefly described the historical development of the concept that the lipid bilayer forms the structural basis of all biomembranes. It is important to understand the detailed structure of the lipid bilayer as well as the thermodynamic principles underlying its stability in order to approach an understanding of biological membranes. In addition, some phospholipids spontaneously organize in structures which are not bilayers, such as the inverted hexagonal HII phase, and these lipids have been postulated to play specialized roles within membranes (see 303,267). In this chapter we will survey the structures and thermodynamics of lipid-water systems, with the emphasis on those features which give some insight into the properties of biological membranes.


Critical Micelle Concentration Acyl Chain Liquid Crystalline Phase Spherical Micelle Dipalmitoyl Phosphatidylcholine 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert B. Gennis
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Chemical SciencesUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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