Modulation of Phosphocholine Bilayer Structures

  • Alok Singh
  • Michael A. Markowitz
  • Li-I Tsao


Vesicles derived from phosphocolines have been used in the encapsulation, retention and release of biomaterials. Diacetylenic phospholipids in aqueous dispersions are reported to transform into rigid, hollow cylindrical structures (0.5-0.8 pm diameter and length depending on the process) or tubules and helices. Tubules are used in the encapsulation and sustained release of bioactive materials. Synthesis of two diacetylenic phosphocholines, l,2-bis-(9,16-dioxahexacosa-11,13-diynoic)-sn-3-phosphocholine and 1,2-bis(15-oxa-pentacosa-10,12-diynoic)-sn-3-phosphocholine, in which the diacetylene is linked to the acyl chain by an oxygen spacer is reported to modulate the morphology of bilayer structures and to understand the role of diacetylene in lipid-bilayer assembly. Lipid dispersions were characterized by calorimetric and film balance techniques and the structures were visualized by microscopic techniques. When both ends of the diacetylene were linked to the acyl chain by oxygen atoms, vesicles (diameters ranging from 0.3-3.4 pm) were observed. Linking only the terminal portion of the acyl chain to the diacetylene with an oxygen atom resulted in the formation of tubular microstructures with a diameter ranged from 0.4-4.7 pm. Transmission electron micrograph of the replica of freeze fractured dispersion revealed that the tubular structures consist of an aqueous core surrounded by a wall of lipid.


Acyl Chain Melting Transition Aqueous Sodium Hydroxide Propargyl Alcohol Lipid Dispersion 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alok Singh
    • 1
  • Michael A. Markowitz
    • 1
  • Li-I Tsao
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering Code 6900Naval Research LaboratoryUSA

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