The reincorporation of lipids into monolayers at the air-water interface after collapse is important to the maintenance of low surface tensions on subsequent expansion and compression cycles. For single component, anionic dipalmitoylphosphatidylglycerol monolayers, the fraction of recovered lipid is proportional to the subphase ionic strength. The collapse mechanism and structure of the collapsed materials appear unchanged with ionic strength. A simple electrostatic barrier model shows that the fractional recovery depends exponentially on the Debye length; this is verified by experiment. This simple model suggests possible catalytic roles for the cationic lung surfactant specific proteins SP-B and SP-C that induce structural changes in the monolayer that may act as charge-neutralizing docking sites for surfactant in the subphase, leading to faster and more efficient recovery.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors acknowledge financial support from the National Institutes of Health (grant HL-51177) and the University of California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program (grant 11RT-0222). H.E.W. was supported by an NIH postdoctoral fellowship.