The structure of individual liposomes of both biological and synthetic amphiphiles is shown to be a single family of Dupin cyclides. Such a family consists of closed, parallel surfaces with a conjugate ellipse and hyperbola as the loci of the centers of curvature. The structure is established by comparing freeze-fracture transmission electron micrographs of bovine brain lecithin liposomes and sodium heptyl-nonyl benzenesulfonate liposomes with images predicted from the theory of Dupin cyclides. Factors which favor the cyclide structure over concentric spheres are brought out. Deviations from the cyclide structure are shown to be liquid crystal defects called disclinations. Disclinations of strength plus or minus one-half appear to be common and often pair to form edge dislocations.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Philosophical Magazine A: Physics of Condensed Matter, Structure, Defects and Mechanical Properties|
|State||Published - Feb 1 1985|