Spontaneous Vesicles Formed from Hydroxide Surfactants: Evidence from Electron Microscopy

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Science  09 Sep 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4615, pp. 1047-1048
DOI: 10.1126/science.221.4615.1047


Dialkyldimethylammonium hydroxide surfactants are highly soluble in water and form spontaneous stable vesicles. These vesicles can be grown to size with added acid, and appear to provide an ideal membrane mimetic system for the study of fusion and ion transport. These phenomena are a consequence of strong hydration forces that are not necessarily limited to the hydroxide ions. The forces can be used to design a variety of model systems whose behavior differs from that of systems in which double-chained surfactants form insoluble liquid crystalline phases in water and unstable vesicle suspensions on prolonged sonication.