Nanoscale Complexity of Phospholipid Monolayers Investigated by Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy

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Science  27 Oct 1995:
Vol. 270, Issue 5236, pp. 610-614
DOI: 10.1126/science.270.5236.610


Near-field scanning optical microscopy of phospholipid monolayers doped with fluorescent lipid analogs reveals previously undescribed features in various phases, including a concentration gradient at the liquid-expanded/liquid-condensed domain boundary and weblike structures in the solid-condensed phase. Presumably, the web structures are grain boundaries between crystalline solid lipid. These structures are strongly modulated by the addition of low concentrations of cholesterol and ganglioside GM1 in the monolayer.