The effect of α-tocopherol on the electrochemical features of the phosphatidylcholine membrane was investigated by impedance spectroscopy. Phosphatidylcholine and α-tocopherol were chosen for the study because they are present in biological membranes and they fulfill essential functions in living organisms. The experimental impedance values obtained in the presence of different amounts of α-tocopherol showed evidence of domain structures within the bilayer containing less than 0.048 molar fraction of α-tocopherol. Based on derived mathematical equations, the surface area of phospholipid/α-tocopherol domain was calculated; it amounts to 832 Å2. This value is consistent, taking into consideration ordering and condensation effects of α-tocopherol, with the acknowledged, well documented, stoichiometry of such a domain of 10:1. The result of the investigation is the proposal of a new method for the determination of the surface area and description of the stoichiometry of domains formed in any two-component system.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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