Relationships between surface viscosity, monolayer phase behavior, and the stability of lung surfactant monolayers

Joseph A. Zasadzinski, Coralie Alonso, Junqi Ding, Frank Bringezu, Heidi Warriner, Tim Alig, Siegfried Steltenkamp, Alan J. Waring

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter reviews how lipid chemistry and lateral organization in monolayers affect surface viscosity, how phase separation and more macroscopic organization influence the flow properties of monolayers, and the effects of lung surfactant specific proteins on the surface viscosity. The surface rheology of the clinical lung surfactants Survanta, Curosurf, and Infasurf is presented and correlated to the lipid and protein composition and phase behavior of these mixtures, and a new hypothesis on the optimal surface viscosity of a lung surfactant film is proposed. It could be that the necessary changes in surface viscosity in lung surfactant films arise from changes in monolayer phase behavior that occur with increasing surface pressure. Many phospholipids, including dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC), have less‐ordered phases at low surface pressures, with short‐range molecular correlations. As the surface pressure increases to levels expected in the lungs, solid phases, with long‐range molecular correlations, forms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStructure and Dynamics of Membranous Interfaces
Number of pages43
ISBN (Electronic)9780470388495
ISBN (Print)9780470388518
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC)
  • Lipid chemistry
  • Lung surfactant films
  • Monolayer phase behavior
  • Phospholipids
  • Short-range molecular correlations
  • Surface viscosity


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