Growth of calcium oxalate monohydrate at phospholipid Langmuir monolayers

Scott Whipps, Saeed R. Khan, F. Jeffrey O'Palko, Rénal Backov, Daniel R. Talham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Calcium oxalate monohydrate crystals have been nucleated from metastable solutions at Langmuir monolayers of the phospholipids dipalmitoylphosphatidylglycerol (DPPG), dipalmitoylphosphatidylserine and dipalmitoylphosphatidyl-choline and the fatty acid arachidic acid. The phospholipid monolayers were used as model systems for domains of pure lipid in cellular media as part of investigations of their potential role in the nucleation of calcium oxalate in the urinary tract. Crystal formation was monitored at the air/water interface using Brewster angle microscopy and in transferred films using SEM and TEM. For each Langmuir monolayer, it was observed that nucleation is heterogeneous and is selective with respect to the orientation and morphology of the precipitated crystals with up to 90% of crystals growing with the (1 0 1) face oriented towards the monolayer interface. The selectivity is attributed to calcium binding at the lipid monolayer favoring formation of the calcium-rich (1 0 1) face. The behavior at each monolayer was similar, although a higher rate of crystal formation was observed at the anionic DPPG interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-249
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 15 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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