Nevin Manimala Statistics

Heterogeneous Nanostructures Cause Anomalous Diffusion in Lipid Monolayers

ACS Nano. 2022 Sep 23. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.2c04089. Online ahead of print.


The diffusion and mobility in biomembranes are crucial for various cell functions; however, the mechanisms involved in such processes remain ambiguous due to the complex membrane structures. Herein, we investigate how the heterogeneous nanostructures cause anomalous diffusion in dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) monolayers. By identifying the existence of condensed nanodomains and clarifying their impact, our findings renew the understanding of the hydrodynamic description and the statistical feature of the diffusion in the monolayers. We find a universal characteristic of the multistage mean square displacement (MSD) with an intermediate crossover, signifying two membrane viscosities at different scales: the short-time scale describes the local fluidity and is independent of the nominal DPPC density, and the long-time scale represents the global continuous phase taking into account nanodomains and increases with DPPC density. The constant short-time viscosity reflects a dynamic equilibrium between the continuous fluid phase and the condensed nanodomains in the molecular scale. Notably, we observe an “anomalous yet Brownian” phenomenon exhibiting an unusual double-peaked displacement probability distribution (DPD), which is attributed to the net dipolar repulsive force from the heterogeneous nanodomains around the microdomains. The findings provide physical insights into the transport of membrane inclusions that underpin various biological functions and drug deliveries.

PMID:36149751 | DOI:10.1021/acsnano.2c04089

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