Determination of lipid bilayer affinities and solvation characteristics by electrokinetic chromatography using polymer-bound lipid bilayer nanodiscs

Electrophoresis. 2018 Mar;39(5-6):844-852. doi: 10.1002/elps.201700308. Epub 2017 Nov 13.


Styrene-maleic acid polymer-bound lipid bilayer nanodiscs have been investigated and characterized by electrokinetic chromatography. Linear solvation energy relationship analysis was employed to characterize the changes in solvation environment of nanodiscs of varied belt to lipid ratio, belt polymer chemistry and molecular weight, and lipid composition. Increases in the lipid to belt polymer ratio resulted in smaller, more cohesive nanodiscs with greater electrophoretic mobility. Nanodisc structures with belt polymers of different chemistry and molecular weight were compared and showed only minor changes in solvent characteristics and selectivity consistent with changes in structure of the lipid bilayer. Seven phospholipid and sphingomyelin nanodiscs of different lipid composition were characterized. Changes in lipid head group structure had a significant effect on bilayer-solute interactions. In most cases, changes in alkyl tail structure had no discernible effect on solvation environment aside from those explained by changes in the gel-liquid transition temperature. Comparison to vesicles of similar lipid composition show only minor differences in solvation environment, likely due to differences in lipid composition and bilayer curvature. Together these results provide evidence that the dominant solute-nanodisc interactions are with the lipid bilayer and that head group chemistry has a greater impact on bilayer-solute interactions than alkyl tail or belt polymer structure. Nanodisc electrokinetic chromatography is demonstrated to allow characterization of solute interactions with lipid bilayers of varied composition.

Keywords: Electrokinetic chromatography; Linear solvation energy relationships; Nanodisc; Phospholipid bilayer; Sphingomyelin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Affinity / methods*
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Kinetics
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry
  • Maleates / chemistry*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Particle Size
  • Phospholipids / chemistry*
  • Polystyrenes / chemistry*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Surface Properties


  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Maleates
  • Phospholipids
  • Polystyrenes
  • styrene-maleic acid polymer