Determination of orientational order parameters from 2H NMR spectra of magnetically partially oriented lipid bilayers

Biophys J. 1998 Feb;74(2 Pt 1):1007-14. doi: 10.1016/S0006-3495(98)74025-1.


The partial orientation of multilamellar vesicles (MLVs) in high magnetic fields is known to affect the shape of 2H NMR spectra. There are numerical methods for extracting either the orientational order parameters of lipid molecules for a random distribution of domain orientations in the sample, or the distribution of orientations for a known set of spectral anisotropies. A first attempt at determining the orientational order parameters in the presence of an unknown nonrandom distribution of orientations is presented. The numerical method is based on the Tikhonov regularization algorithm. It is tested using simulated partially oriented spectra. An experimental spectrum of a phospholipid-ether mixture in water is analyzed as an example. The experimental spectrum is consistent with an ellipsoidal shape of MLVs with a ratio of semiaxes of approximately 3.4.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Deuterium
  • Dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine / chemistry*
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry*
  • Magnetics*
  • Models, Chemical
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular / methods


  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Deuterium
  • Dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine