Room-temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) have attracted considerable attention in recent years due to their versatile properties such as negligible volatility, inflammability, high extractive selectivity and thermal stability. In general, RTILs are organic salts with a melting point below ~100 °C determined by the asymmetry of at least one of their ions. Due to their amphiphilic character, strong interactions with biological materials can be expected. However, rising attention has appeared towards their similarity and interaction with biomolecules. By employing structural modifications, the biochemical properties of RTILs can be designed to mimic lipid structures and to tune their hydrophobicity towards a lipophilic behavior. This is evident for the interaction with lipid-membranes where some of these compounds present membrane-disturbing effects or cellular toxicity. Moreover, they can form micelles or lipid-like bilayer structures by themselves. Both aspects, cellular effects and membrane-forming capacities, of a novel class of lipophilic imidazolium salts will be discussed.
Biophysical Reviews – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 4, 2018
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