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X-ray diffraction from ordered multilayers has been used to study the structure of the lipid-water system in orientated multilayers of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) at 30°C as a function of water content. At high levels of water content the structure is lamellar (L α ), comprising equidistant lipid bilayers of constant thickness separated by layers of water. The low water content structure is a two-dimensional hexagonal array with narrow water channels (H II ). X-ray scattering density profiles are derived for both structures. The presence of a stable intermediate rippled structure between the L α and H II phases is demonstrated and a model is presented which involves a smooth structural transition between the two extremes described. The transition from L α to H II phase is related to the bilayer thickness and not to any other variable parameter such as water content or composition. The effect of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DOPE) on the structure and phase transition characteristics of the system is reported. © 1989.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/0005-2736(89)90460-4

Type

Journal article

Journal

BBA - Biomembranes

Publication Date

11/12/1989

Volume

987

Pages

104 - 110