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Active microrheology and simultaneous visualization of sheared phospholipid monolayers

By S.Q. Choi, S. Steltenkamp, J.A. Zasadzinski and T.M. Squires


Two-dimensional films of surface-active agents—from phospholipids and proteins to nanoparticles and colloids—stabilize fluid interfaces, which are essential to the science, technology and engineering of everyday life. The 2D nature of interfaces present unique challenges and opportunities: coupling between the 2D films and the bulk fluids complicates the measurement of surface dynamic properties, but allows the interfacial microstructure to be directly visualized during deformation. Here we present a novel technique that combines active microrheology with fluorescence microscopy to visualize fluid interfaces as they deform under applied stress, allowing structure and rheology to be correlated on the micron-scale in monolayer films. We show that even simple, single-component lipid monolayers can exhibit viscoelasticity, history dependence, a yield stress and hours-long time scales for elastic recoil and aging. Simultaneous visualization of the monolayer under stress shows that the rich dynamical response results from the cooperative dynamics and deformation of liquid-crystalline domains and their boundaries

Topics: Article
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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