Fullerene up-take alters bilayer structure and elasticity: A small angle X-ray study
The coupling of fullerene (C60) to the structure and elasticity of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine bilayers has been explored by synchrotron small angle X-ray scattering. Multilamellar vesicles were loaded with 0, 2 and 10 mol.% of C60 and studied in a temperature range from 15 to 65 °C. The addition of C60 caused an increase in the bilayer undulations (20%), in the bilayer separation (15%), in the linear expansion coefficient and caused a drop in the bending rigidity of the bilayers (20%). Possible damaging effects of fullerene on biomembranes are mainly discussed on the basis of altered bilayer fluidity and elasticity changes.