Long-range hydration effect of lipid membrane studied by terahertz time-domain spectroscopy

Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Apr 15;106(15):158102. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.158102. Epub 2011 Apr 13.


The hydration state of biomolecules is believed to affect their self-assembly. The hydration state of phospholipid bilayers is studied precisely by terahertz spectroscopy, by which water perturbed by a lipid membrane is detected sensitively from the observation of the relaxation dynamics of water molecules in the subpicosecond time scale. Combined with x-ray observation of the lamellar structure of the lipid, a long-range hydration effect on up to 4-5 layers of water is confirmed. Most water molecules in the lamellae fall into the hydration water, and condensation of them is also indicated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine / chemistry
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry*
  • Models, Chemical*
  • Phospholipids / chemistry*
  • Scattering, Small Angle
  • Terahertz Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Time Factors
  • Water / chemistry*
  • X-Ray Diffraction


  • 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-ethylphosphocholine
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Phospholipids
  • Water
  • Dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine