Effect of Gd3+ on the colloidal stability of liposomes

Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2006 Sep;74(3 Pt 1):031913. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.74.031913. Epub 2006 Sep 25.


Lanthanide ions such as La3+ and Gd3+ are well known to have large effects on the structure of phospholipid membranes. Unilamellar vesicles of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) were prepared by sonication method and confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. The effects of concentration of gadolinium ions Gd3+ on DPPC unilamellar vesicles in aqueous media were studied by different techniques. As physical techniques, photon correlation spectroscopy, electrophoretic mobility, and differential scanning calorimetry were used. The theoretical predictions of the colloidal stability of liposomes were followed using the Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek theory. Changes in the size of liposomes and high polydispersities values were observed as Gd3+ concentration increases, suggesting that this cation induces the aggregation of vesicles. Electrophoretic mobility measurements on unilamellar vesicles as a function of Gd3+ ion concentration show that the vesicles adsorb Gd3+ ions. Above Gd3+ concentrations of 0.1 mol dm-3, the zeta potential and light scattering measurements indicate the beginning of aggregation process. For comparison with similar phospholipids, the zeta potential of phosphatidylcholine interacting with Gd3+ was measured, showing an analogous behavior. Differential scanning calorimetry has been used to determine the effect of Gd3+ on the transition temperature (Tc) and on the enthalpy (DeltaHc) associated with the process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1,2-Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine / chemistry*
  • Calorimetry, Differential Scanning
  • Cations / chemistry*
  • Colloids
  • Gadolinium / chemistry*
  • Liposomes / chemistry*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Phosphatidylcholines / chemistry*
  • Temperature


  • Cations
  • Colloids
  • Liposomes
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • 1,2-Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine
  • Gadolinium