Mixed micelles of sphingomyelin and phosphatidylcholine with nonionic surfactants: Effect of temperature and surfactant polydispersity
Review articleOpen access

AbstractMixed micelle formation of the polydisperse nonionic surfactant Triton X-100 as well as its homogeneous analogue, p-(1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl)phenoxynonaoxyethylene glycol (OPE-9), with bovine brain sphingomyelin or dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine has been characterized by column chromatography on 6% agarose. At 40°C, mixtures of OPE-9 and either sphingomyelin or dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine give a narrow size distribution for mixed micelles. At this temperature the size distribution of Triton X-100containing mixed micelles is complicated because of the polydispersity of the oxyethylene chains. At 20°C narrow size distributions are observed for mixed micelles of sphingomyelin/Triton X-100 and sphingomyelin/OPE-9 up to at least 0.06 mol fraction of lipid. For dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine this is observed only with OPE-9. At intermediate mol fractions of lipid (around 0.25), two populations of mixed micelles exist for sphingomyelin/Triton X-100, sphingomyelin/OPE-9, and dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine/OPE-9. At high mol fractions of lipid only one population of mixed micelles again exists. At 20°C, sphingomyelin forms a clear solution with Triton X-100 and OPE-9 to a lipid mol fraction of at least 0.46 and 0.67, respectively. Dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine forms a clear solution with OPE-9 to a lipid mol fraction of at least 0.57 at the same temperature. Triton X-100 and dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine do not form stable, clear solutions at 20°C unless the lipid mol fraction is extremely low. These results show that surfactant polydispersity and temperature are important determinants in the solubilization of lipids by nonionic surfactants. It is also shown that pure surfactant micelles and lipid/surfactant mixed micelles do not co-exist in the same solution.

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