Formation of Vesicles in Lipid-Liquid Crystal Colloidal Mixtures Public
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The formation, phase ordering, and evolution has been studied in lipid and liquid crystal (LC) colloidal aqueous mixtures as a function of LC concentration and thermal history. The lipid used was 2-oleoyl-1-palmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) while the liquid crystal was pentylcyanobiphenyl (5CB). POPC is a naturally occurring lipid in eukaryotic cell membranes and mimics many of the properties of human cell walls. 5CB is a polar liquid crystal that exhibits a thermodynamically stable orientationally ordered (nematic) state at room temperature. Colloidal dispersions were made at various 5CB and POPC concentrations in water and studied via optical microscopy (phase contrast, confocal, florescence, and cross-polarizing) to probe phase order and evolution as well as by calorimetry to study phase transformations. Very large vesicles (larger than 100 micrometers) were observed to form that appear to use the phase separated 5CB droplets as scaffolds. Also, there appears a unique promotion of dye (used to image the lipid bilayers) crystallization within liquid crystal domains well above room temperature.
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