Critical mixing in monolayer mixtures of phospholipid and cholesterol

Sriram Subramaniam, Harden M. McConnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


We report the observation of two-dimensional fluid-fluid immiscibility in monolayer mixtures of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and cholesterol spread at an air-water interface. Coexisting fluid domains were visualized by fluorescence microscopy in monolayers that were stained with low concentrations of a fluorescent lipid probe. Monolayers with cholesterol concentrations in the range 0-30 mol % show reversible two-phase to one-phase transformations at characteristic densities and surface pressures. For cholesterol concentrations near 30 mol %, this isothermal transition is characterized by fluctuations in the shape of the domain boundaries, indicating the presence of a critical point at this composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1715-1718
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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