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Relationship between Viscosity and Acyl Tail Dynamics in Lipid Bilayers



Michihiro Nagao, Elizabeth Kelley, Antonio Faraone, Makina Saito, Yoshitaka Yoda, Masayuki Kurokuzu, Shinichi Takata, Makoto Seto, Paul Butler


Membrane viscosity is a fundamental property that controls molecular transport and structural rearrangements in lipid membranes. Given its importance in many cell processes, various experimental and computational methods have been developed to measure the membrane viscosity, yet the estimated values highly depend on the method and vary by orders of magnitude. Here we investigate the molecular origins of membrane viscosity by measuring the nanoscale dynamics of the lipid acyl tails using X-ray and neutron spectroscopy techniques. The results show that the membrane viscosity can be estimated from the measured relaxation times and directly linked to the structural relaxations of the lipid tails.
Physical Review Letters


lipid, transport property, membrane viscosity, structural relaxation, neutron spin echo, Mössbauer time-domain interferometry


Nagao, M. , Kelley, E. , Faraone, A. , Saito, M. , Yoda, Y. , Kurokuzu, M. , Takata, S. , Seto, M. and Butler, P. (2021), Relationship between Viscosity and Acyl Tail Dynamics in Lipid Bilayers, Physical Review Letters (Accessed July 15, 2024)


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Created August 11, 2021, Updated November 29, 2022