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On the formation of discoidal versus threadlike micelles in dilute aqueous surfactant/lipid systems

, : On the formation of discoidal versus threadlike micelles in dilute aqueous surfactant/lipid systems. Langmuir 24(5): 1731-1739

In a recent study, we showed that the surfactant 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylethanolamine-N-[methoxy(polyethylene glycol)-2000 (DSPE-PEG2000) induced mixed micelles of either threadlike or discoidal shape when mixed with different types of lipids. In this study, we have exchanged the PEG-lipid for the more conventional surfactants octaethylene glycol monododecyl ether (C12E8), hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). Cryo-TEM investigations show that also these surfactants are able to induce the formation of long-lived discoidal micelles. Generally, the preference for either discoidal or threadlike micelles can be tuned by the choice of lipids and environmental conditions in much the same way as observed for the lipid/PEG-lipid system. Our investigation showed, furthermore, that the choice of surfactant may influence the type of mixed micelles formed. It is argued that the formation of discoidal rather than threadlike micelles may be rationalized as an effect of increasing bending rigidity. Our detailed theoretical model calculations show that the bending rigidity becomes significantly raised for aggregates formed by an ionic rather than a nonionic surfactant.


PMID: 18215080

DOI: 10.1021/la702637h

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