Foam thin liquid films (TLF) and monolayers at the air–water interface formed by DMPC mixed with DMPE-bonded poly (ethylene glycol)s (DMPE-PEG550, DMPE-PEG2000 and DMPE-PEG5000) were obtained. The influence of both (i) PEG chain size (evaluated in terms of Mw) and mushroom-to-brush conformational transition and (ii) of the liposome/micelle ratio in the film-forming dispersions, on the interfacial properties of mixed DMPC/DMPE-PEG films was compared. Foam film studies demonstrated that DMPE-PEG addition to foam TLFs caused (i) delayed kinetics of film thinning and black spot expansion and (ii) film stabilization. At the mushroom-to-brush transition, due to steric repulsion increased DMPE-PEG films thickness reached 25 nm while pure DMPC films were only 8 nm thick Newton black films. It was possible to differentiate DMPE-PEG2000/5000 from DMPE-PEG550 by the ability to change foam TLF formation mechanism, which could be of great importance for “stealth” liposome design. Monolayer studies showed improved formation kinetics and equilibrium surface tension decrease for DMPE-PEG monolayers compared with DMPC pure films. SEM observations revealed “smoothing” and “sealing” of the defects in the solid-supported layer surface by DMPE-PEGs adsorption, which could explain DMPE-PEGs ability to stabilize TLFs and to decrease monolayer surface tension. All effects in monolayers, foam TLFs and solid-supported layers increased with the increase of PEG Mw and DMPE-PEG concentration. However, at the critical DMPE-PEG concentration (where mushroom-to-brush conformational transition occurred) maximal magnitude of the effects was reached, which only slightly changed at further DMPE-PEG content and micelle/liposome ratio increase.
Georgiev, G. A., Sarker, D., Al-Hanbali, O., Georgiev, G. D., & Lalchev, Z. (2007). Effects of poly(ethylene glycol) chains conformational transition on the properties of DMPC/DMPE-PEG thin liquid films and monolayers. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 59(2), 184-193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfb.2007.05.006