The physics and physiology of lung surfactants

J. A. Zasadzinski, J. Ding, H. E. Warriner, F. Bringezu, Alan J. Waring

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Langmuir monolayers have provided experimentally accessible models for studies of lung surfactants at the air-alveolus interface since the medical necessity of lung sufactant was demonstrated by the pioneering work of Avery and Clements in the early 1960s. The fundamental goal of these in vitro studies is a molecular level understanding of the relationships between lung surfactant composition, monolayer morphology, and monolayer physical parameters such as minimum surface tension, spreading, viscosity, etc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-513
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank J. Clements, R. Notter, F. Walther and W. Taeusch for continuing to share their accumulated knowledge of lung surfactants. This work was supported by NIH grant HL-51177; JAZ and AJW were also supported by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program grant #8RT-0077. JD was supported by Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program grant #8DT-0171. AJW was also supported by NIH grant HL55534 and NIH small equipment grant GM 50483. My continuing thanks are due to my former students and post-doctoral researchers who have worked on these projects: Dr Ka Yee Lee, Dr Anja von Nahmen, Dr Michael Lipp, Dr Dawn Takamoto and Dr Marjorie Longo.


  • Lung surfactants
  • Monolayers
  • Palmitic acid
  • Phase behavior
  • Phosphatidylcholines


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