Date of Original Version
We report some unusual structural transitions upon the addition of an amphiphilic biopolymer to unilamellar surfactant vesicles. The polymer is a hydrophobically modified chitosan and it embeds its hydrophobes in vesicle bilayers. We study vesicle-polymer mixtures using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and cryotransmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM). When low amounts of the polymer are added to unilamellar vesicles of ca. 120 nm diameter, the vesicle size decreases by about 50%. Upon further addition of polymer, lamellar peaks are observed in the SANS spectra at high scattering vectors. We show that these spectra correspond to a co-existence of unilamellar and bilamellar vesicles. The transition to bilamellar vesicles as well as the changes in unilamellar vesicle size are further confirmed by cryo-TEM. A mechanism for the polymer-induced transitions in vesicle morphology is proposed.
Lee, J.-H., Agarwal, V., Bose, A., Payne, G. F., & Raghavan, S. R. (2006). Transition From Unilamellar to Bilameller Vesicles Induced by an Amphiphilic Biopolymer. Physical Review Letters, 96(4):#48102. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.96.048102
Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.96.048102