Influence of perfluorinated compounds on the properties of model lipid membranes

D. Matyszewska, Kirsi Tappura, G. Orädd, R. Bilewicz (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    43 Citations (Scopus)


    The influence of selected perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) or perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), on the structure and organization of lipid membranes was investigated using model membranes-lipid monolayers and bilayers. The simplest model - a lipid monolayer - was studied at the airwater interface using the Langmuir-Blodgett technique with surface pressure and surface potential measurements. Lipid bilayers were characterized by NMR techniques and molecular dynamics simulations. Two phospholipids, 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) and 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC), characterized by different surface properties have been chosen as components of the model membranes. For a DPPC monolayer, a phase transition from the liquid-expanded state to the liquidcondensed state can be observed upon compression at room temperature, while a DMPC monolayer under the same conditions remains in the liquid-expanded state. For each of the two lipids, the presence of both PFOA and PFOS leads to the formation of a more fluidic layer at the air-water interface. Pulsed field gradient NMR measurements of the lateral diffusion coefficient (DL) of DMPC and PFOA in oriented bilayers reveal that, upon addition of PFOA to DMPC bilayers, DL of DMPC decreases for small amounts of PFOA, while larger additions produce an increased DL. The DL values of PFOA were found to be slightly larger than those for DMPC, probably as a consequence of the water solubility of PFOA. Furthermore, 31P and 2H NMR showed that the gel-liquid crystalline phase transition temperature decreased by the addition of PFOA for concentrations of 5 mol % and above, indicating a destabilizing effect of PFOA on the membranes. Deuterium order parameters of deuterated DMPC were found to increase slightly upon increasing the PFOA concentration. The monolayer experiments reveal that PFOS also penetrates slowly into already preformed lipid layers, leading to a change of their properties with time. These experimental observations are in qualitative agreement with the computational results obtained from the molecular dynamics simulations showing a slow migration of PFCs from the surrounding water phase into DPPC and DMPC bilayers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9908-9918
    JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry B
    Issue number33
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • perfluorinated compounds
    • PFC
    • perfluorooctanoic acid
    • PFOA
    • perfluorooctanesulfonic acid
    • PFOS
    • lipid membranes
    • lipids


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