Determination of Size and Structure of Lipid IVA Vesicles by Quasi-Elastic Light Scattering and Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering
Heavy sonication of lipid IVA in different buffer solutions at pH values around 7.4 produces mostly unilamellar vesicles, which are stable over several weeks. For short sonication times these vesicles are very large, about 250 nanometers in terms of an average hydrodynamic radius with a slight polydispersity, as determined by quasi-elastic light scattering. Therefore small-angle X-ray scattering curves obtained with a conventional instrument do not contain enough information to determine the overall size of the lipid IVA aggregates. However, the pair distance distribution function (PDDF) of the scattering curve is in agreement with the assumption of large vesicular particles. The thickness of the double layer is very small compared to the overall dimension. It can be evaluated assuming a lamellar particle. The corresponding PDDF provides a thickness of about 5 nm. The electron density distribution within the double layer can be calculated directly from the PDDF by a convolution square root operation. Head groups and hydrocarbon chains are represented by two regions of different electron densities.
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