Document Type


Date of Original Version



Chemical Engineering


Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are pollutants of emerging concern that persist in nature and pose environmental health and safety risks. PFAS disrupt biological membranes resulting in cellular inhibition, but the mechanism of disruption and the role of lipid composition remain unclear. We examine the role of phospholipid saturation and headgroup charge on the interactions between PFASs and phospholipid monolayers comprised of synthetic phosphocholine (PC) and phosphoglycerol (PG) lipids and prepared from bacteria membrane extracts rich in PG lipids from an environmentally relevant marine bacterium Alcanivorax borkumensis. When deposited on a buffered subphase containing PFAS, PFAS mixed within and fluidized zwitterionic and net-anionic monolayers leading to increases in monolayer compressibility that were driven by a combination of PFAS hydrophobicity and monolayer charge density. Differences in the monolayer response using saturated or unsaturated lipids are attributed to the ability of the unsaturated lipids to accommodate PFAS within ‘void space’ arising from the bent lipid tails. Similar fluidization and compressibility behavior were also observed in A. borkumensis lipid monolayers. This work provides new insight into PFAS partitioning into bacterial membranes and the effect PFAS have on the physicomechanical properties of zwitterionic and charged lipid monolayers.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering