Journal of the Iranian Chemical Society

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 75–84 | Cite as

Effect of a series of essential oil molecules on DPPC membrane fluidity: a biophysical study

  • Riham Gharib
  • Lizette Auezova
  • Catherine Charcosset
  • Hélène Greige-Gerges
Original Paper


Monoterpenes (MTs) were known to cause biological membranes perturbation. Here, the interaction of four (eucalyptol, pulegone, terpineol, and thymol) with dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) liposomes was studied by Raman spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and fluorescence anisotropy. Liposomes were prepared by the thin-film hydration method, and MTs were added to DPPC at various molar percentages (from 0 to 25%). All the studied MT abolished the pre-transition of DPPC membrane and modified the intensity of the Raman peak at 715 cm−1, proving their interaction with the choline head group of phospholipids. MTs decreased also the main transition temperature suggesting their interaction with the alkyl chains of DPPC membrane. Besides, a splitting of the main transition peak was obtained with thymol. The results of fluorescence anisotropy showed that the studied molecules fluidized the liposomal membrane at 25, 41, and 50 °C. A mixture of isomers of terpineol fluidized the membrane more than α-terpineol. The presence of a hydroxyl group in the MT structure seems to improve the membrane fluidizing effect of MTs.


DPPC membrane DSC Fluidity Fluorescence anisotropy Monoterpenes Raman spectroscopy 



Authors are grateful to the Lebanese University for providing a scholarship to Riham Gharib, to the National Council for Scientific Research in Lebanon (CNRS-L) for supporting the research project and to the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (Programme de Cooperation Scientifique Inter-Universitaire, PCSI 2015-2017).

Supplementary material

13738_2017_1210_MOESM1_ESM.docx (183 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 183 kb)


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Copyright information

© Iranian Chemical Society 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riham Gharib
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lizette Auezova
    • 1
  • Catherine Charcosset
    • 2
  • Hélène Greige-Gerges
    • 1
  1. 1.Bioactive Molecules Research Laboratory, Doctoral School of Sciences and Technologies, Faculty of SciencesLebanese UniversityJdaidet El-MatnLebanon
  2. 2.Laboratoire d’Automatique et de Génie des ProcédésUniversité Claude Bernard Lyon 1VilleurbanneFrance

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