Biophysical investigation of the interfacial properties of cationic fluorocarbon/hydrocarbon hybrid surfactant: mimicking the lung surfactant protein C

J Colloid Interface Sci. 2011 Aug 1;360(1):163-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2011.04.018. Epub 2011 Apr 17.


The interfacial behavior of the newly designed Fluorocarbon Hydrocarbon Cationic Lipid (FHCL or CH(3)(CH(2))(17)N(+)(C(2)H(5))(2)(CH(2))(3)(CF(2))(7)CF(3)I(-)) and its mixtures with a phospholipid (DPPC, Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine) at different mole fractions were investigated. This new molecule was synthesized to mimic the selected properties of lung surfactant, which is a natural lipid-protein mixture which is known to play important roles in the process of respiration, by considering the structure/function relation of lung surfactant protein (SP-C). Each segment in the molecular structure was selected to affect the molecular level interaction at the interface whereas the keeping the overall structure as simple as possible. The surface pressure area isotherms obtained for the mixtures of DPPC/FHCL indicated that there was repulsive interaction between DPPC and FHCL molecules. Due to the molecular level interaction, specifically at mole fraction 0.3, the isotherm obtained from that mixture resembled the isotherm obtained from the DPPC monolayer in the presence of SP-C. High elasticity of the interface was one of the important parameters for the respiration process, therefore, shear and dilatational elasticities of two-component systems were determined and they were found to be similar to the case where SP-C protein is present. Fluorescence microscopy images were taken in order to investigate the monolayer in details. The FHCL was able to fluidize the DPPC monolayer even at high surface pressures effectively. In addition, the cyclic compression-expansion isotherms were obtained to understand the spreading and re-spreading ability of the pure FHCL and the mixed DPPC/FHCL monolayers. At a specific mole fraction, X(FHCL)=0.3, the mixture exhibited good hysteresis in area, compressibility, recruitment index and re-spreading ability at the interface. All these results point out that FHCL can fulfill the selected features of the lung surfactant that are attributed to the presence of SP-C protein when mixed with DPPC, even if the molecular structure of the FHCL is quite simple.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cations / chemical synthesis
  • Cations / chemistry
  • Hydrocarbons / chemical synthesis
  • Hydrocarbons / chemistry*
  • Lipids / chemical synthesis
  • Lipids / chemistry*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein C / chemistry*
  • Surface Properties
  • Surface-Active Agents / chemical synthesis
  • Surface-Active Agents / chemistry*
  • Thermodynamics


  • Cations
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Lipids
  • Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein C
  • Surface-Active Agents