Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Interleaflet Coupling of n-Alkane Incorporated Bilayers



Hatsuho Usuda, Mafumi Hishida, Elizabeth Kelley, Yasuhisa Yamamura, Michihiro Nagao, Kazuya Saito


The relationship between the membrane bending modulus (k) and compressibility modulus (KA) depends on the extent of coupling between the two monolayers (leaflets). Using neutron spin echo (NSE) spectroscopy, we investigate the effects of n-alkanes on the interleaflet coupling of 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) bilayers. Structural studies with small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering (SAXS and SANS) showed that the bilayer thickness increased with increasing n-alkane length, while NSE suggested that the bilayers become softer. Additional measurements of the membrane thickness fluctuations with NSE suggested that the changes in elastic moduli were due to a decrease in coupling for longer n-alkanes. The decreased coupling with elongating n-alkane length is explained based on the n-alkane distribution within the bilayers characterized by SANS measurement of bilayers composed of protiated DPPC and deuterated n-alkanes. A higher fraction of the incorporated long n-alkanes were concentrated at the central plane of the bilayers and decreased the physical interaction between the leaflets. Using NSE and SANS, we successfully correlated changes in the mesoscopic collective dynamics and microscopic membrane structure upon incorporation of n-alkanes.
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics


lipid, bilayer, additives, elastic property, dynamics


Usuda, H. , Hishida, M. , Kelley, E. , Yamamura, Y. , Nagao, M. and Saito, K. (2020), Interleaflet Coupling of n-Alkane Incorporated Bilayers, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, [online], (Accessed June 24, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created March 13, 2020, Updated October 12, 2021