The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 145–162 | Cite as

Statistical mechanics of the fluidity of phospholipid bilayers and membranes

  • D. Marsh


A statistical mechanical treatment of the fluidity of lipid hydrocarbon chains in phospholipid bilayers is presented, which explicitly takes some account of interchain steric restrictions. With an effective energy separation of 750 cal/mole betweengauche andtrans conformations, it is found possible to account both for the chain dependence of the entropy and enthalpy change at the liquid crystalline transition of saturated lecithins, and also for intensity data in the laser raman spectra of dipalmitoyl lecithin. The method is used to calculate conformational probabilities in the lipid chains, in particular those for 2g 1 kinks. The calculated kink concentrations are found to be in agreement with the molecular permeability theory of H. Träuble (J Membrane Biol.4:193, 1971).


Lecithin Phospholipid Bilayer Dipalmitoyl Membrane Biol Lipid Chain 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Marsh
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische ChemieGöttingenWest Germany

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