Infrared and fluorescence spectroscopic studies of a phospholipid bilayer supported by a soft cationic hydrogel scaffold.
Combined Langmuir-Blodgett vertical withdrawing and Langmuir-Schaefer horizontal touch (LB-LS) methods were employed to transfer DMPC bilayers onto a Au(111) electrode surface. Charge density measurements and photon polarization modulation infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy were employed to investigate electric field induced changes in the structure of the bilayer. The results show that the physical state and the molecular arrangement found in the monolayer at the air-water interface is to a large extent preserved in the bilayer formed by the LB-LS method. This approach provides an opportunity to produce supported bilayers with a well-designed architecture. The properties of the bilayer formed by the LB-LS method were compared to the properties of the bilayer produced by spontaneous fusion of unilamellar vesicles investigated in an earlier study (Bin, X.; Zawisza, I.; Lipkowski, J. Langmuir 2005, 21, 330-347). The tilt angles of the acyl chains are much smaller in the bilayer formed by the LB-LS method and are closer to the angles observed for vesicles and stacked hydrated bilayers. The tilt angles of the phosphate and choline groups are also smaller and are characteristic of an orientation in which the area per DMPC molecule is small. The electric field induced changes of these angles are also less pronounced in the bilayer formed by the LB-LS method. We have shown that these differences are a result of the higher packing density of the phospholipid molecules in the bilayer formed by the LB-LS method.