Adsorption of Lipid Liquid Crystalline Nanoparticles on Cationic, Hydrophilic, and Hydrophobic Surfaces

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Investigation of nonlamellar nanoparticles formed by dispersion of self-assembled lipid liquid crystalline phases is stimulated by their many potential applications in science and technology; resulting from their unique solubilizing, encapsulating, and space-dividing nature. Understanding the interfacial behavior of lipid liquid crystalline nanoparticles (LCNPs) at surfaces can facilitate the exploitation of such systems for a number of potentially interesting uses, including preparation of functional surface coatings and uses as carriers of biologically active substances. We have studied the adsorption of LCNP, based on phosphatidylcholine/glycerol dioleate and Polysorbate 80 as stabilizers, at different model surfaces by use of in situ ellipsometry. The technique allows time-resolved monitoring of the layer thickness and the amount adsorbed, thereby providing insights into the restructuring of the lipid nanoparticle upon adsorption. The effects of solvent condition, electrolyte concentration, particle size, and surface chemistry on adsorbed layer properties were investigated. Furthermore, the internal structures of the particles were investigated by cryo-transmission electron microscopy and small angle X-ray diffraction on the corresponding liquid crystalline phases in excess water. LCNPs are shown to form well-defined layers at the solid-liquid interface with a structure and coverage that are determined by the interplay between the self-assembly properties of the lipids and lipid surface interactions, respectively. At the hydrophobic surface, hydrophobic interaction results in a structural transition from the original LCNP morphology to a monolayer structure at the interface. In contrast, at cationic and hydrophilic surfaces, relaxation is a relatively slow process, resulting in much thicker adsorbed layers, with thickness and adsorption behavior that to a greater extent reflect the original bulk LCNP properties.


  • Debby Chang
  • Marija Jankunec
  • Justas Barauskas
  • Fredrik Tiberg
  • Tommy Nylander
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physical Chemistry


  • lipid liquid crystalline nanoparticle, cubosome, adsorption, ellipsometry, cationic, SPC, GDO, P80, cryo-TEM, nanoparticles
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2643-2651
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch