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Unbinding Transition Induced by Osmotic Pressure in Relation to Unilamellar Vesicle Formation

Abstract

Small-angle X-ray scattering and phase-contrast microscopy experiments were performed to investigate the effect of the osmotic pressure on vesicle formation in a dioleoylphosphatidylcholine (DOPC)/water/NaI system. Multi-lamellar vesicles were formed when a pure lipid film was hydrated with an aqueous solution of NaI. On the other hand, uni-lamellar vesicles (ULVs) were formed when a lipid film mixed with an enough amount of NaI was hydrated. To confirm the effect of the osmotic pressure due to NaI, a free-energy calculation was performed. This result showed that the osmotic pressure induced an unbinding transition on the hydration process, which resulted in ULV formation

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