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Distribution of Fullerene Nanoparticles between Water and Solid Supported Lipid Membranes: Thermodynamics and Effects of Membrane Composition on Distribution

Ha, Yeonjeong, Katz, Lynn E., Liljestrand, Howard M.
Environmental Science & Technology 2015 v.49 no.24 pp. 14546-14553
absorption, adsorption, bioaccumulation, dispersions, endothermy, entropy, fullerene, hydrophobicity, lipid composition, lipids, separation, surface area, zwitterions
The distribution coefficient (Kₗᵢₚw) of fullerene between solid supported lipid membranes (SSLMs) and water was examined using different lipid membrane compositions. Kₗᵢₚw of fullerene was significantly higher with a cationic lipid membrane compared to that with a zwitterionic or anionic lipid membrane, potentially due to the strong interactions between negative fullerene dispersions and positive lipid head groups. The higher Kₗᵢₚw for fullerene distribution to ternary lipid mixture membranes was attributed to an increase in the interfacial surface area of the lipid membrane resulting from phase separation. These results imply that lipid composition can be a critical factor that affects bioconcentration of fullerene. Distribution of fullerene into zwitterionic unsaturated lipid membranes was dominated by the entropy contribution (ΔS) and the process was endothermic (ΔH > 0). This result contrasts the partitioning thermodynamics of highly and moderately hydrophobic chemicals indicating that the lipid–water distribution mechanism of fullerene may be different from that of molecular level chemicals. Potential mechanisms for the distribution of fullerene that may explain these differences include adsorption on the lipid membrane surfaces and partitioning into the center of lipid membranes (i.e., absorption).