Lipid Interactions in Aqueous Surfaces, Membranes and Micellar Systems

  • B. A. Pethica
Conference paper


A variety of lipid molecules are involved in the structure of biological membranes. The study of the forces between lipid molecules is important for an understanding of the properties of these membranes. The results of a series of studies on pure model lipid systems were reported. These studies were on lipids at aqueous interfaces (examined by surface pressure [1], surface potential [2], and surface polarization [3] techniques) and on paraf-finic colloidal electrolytes in aqueous solutions and micelles (examined by NMR [4] and Raman spectroscopy [5]). Theoretical calculations on the electrostatic and van der Waals interactions of lipids in membrane-like structures were also discussed [6]. These various lines of evidence suggest that phospholipid zwitterions are somewhat polarized normal to the membrane by applied electric fields of the magnitude of action potentials. The van der Waals interaction of the chains is also important but does not appear to obey the interaction law proposed by Salem [7]. Evidence of phase changes in lipid films was also presented in support of some of the schematic membrane changes discussed by Kavanau [8]. The importance of water as an essential component of membrane structures was illustrated by reference to spectroscopic data on chain-water interactions at the surface of micelles and in sub-micellar solutions of soap-like molecules.


Applied Electric Field Lipid Molecule Lipid Film Lipid Interaction Aqueous Surface 


  1. [1]
    van Deenen, L. L. M., et al., 1962: J. Pharmacol. 14, 429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. [1]a
    Brooks, J. H., and B. A. Pethica, 1964: Trans. Faraday Soc. 60, 208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [1]b
    Brooks, J. H., and B. A. Pethica, 1965: Trans. Faraday Soc. 61, 571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [1]c
    Demel, R. A., L. L. M. van Deenen, and B. A. Pethica: Unpublished data on phospholipid monolayers.Google Scholar
  5. [2]
    Standish, M. M., 1965: Thesis, University of Manchester.Google Scholar
  6. [3]
    Pethica, B. A., J. Mingins, and D. H. Iles: Unpublished data.Google Scholar
  7. [4]
    Clifford, J., and B. A. Pethica, 1964: Trans. Faraday Soc. 60, 1483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. [4]a
    Clifford, J., and B. A. Pethica, 1965: Trans. Faraday Soc. 61, 182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [4]b
    Clifford, J., 1965: Trans. Faraday Soc. 61, 1276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [5]
    Clifford, J., W. A. Senior, and B. A. Pethica, 1965: “Forms of water in Biologic Systems.” Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 125, 458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [6]
    Pethica, B. A., 1965: “Surface Activity and the Microbial Cell.” Symposium of the Society of Chemical Industry (London), 19, 85.Google Scholar
  12. [7]
    Salem, L., 1962: Canadian J. Biochem. Physiol. 41, 1287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. [8]
    Kavanau, J. L., 1965: “Structure and Function in Biological Membranes,” Holden-Day (London).Google Scholar
  14. [9]
    Nemethy, G., and H. A. Scheraga, 1962: J. Chem. Phys. 36, 3382 and 3411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. [10]
    Aranow, R. H., and L. Willen, 1960: J. Physic. Chem. 64, 1643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. A. Pethica
    • 1
  1. 1.Unilever Research LaboratoryPort Sunlight, CheshireEngland

Personalised recommendations