Study of the aggregation behaviour of egg yolk lecithin/bile salt mixtures by increasing the ionic strength
This thesis describes a study of the aggregational behaviour of egg yolk lecithin (EYL), a natural lecithin, and bile salt mixtures especially with respect to an increase of the ionic strength of the solvent. Mixtures of two amphiphiles with very different spontaneous curvature as EYL lecithin and bile salt form mixed micelles and vesicles in aqueous solution. Their properties have been well-studied under physiological conditions, i.e. 150 mM electrolyte concentration and pH 7- 8, while other conditions are still hardly explored. Upon increasing ionic strength the formed structures and the transitional pathways (micelles, coexistence of micelles and vesicles, and vesicles) change the generated structures completely from those observed under physiological conditions. We quantitatively determined these structures formed in a broad range of electrolyte concentrations with various scattering techniques, x-ray, light and neutron scattering and calorimetry. With calorimetry, phase diagrams in the EYL and bile salt concentration phase plane were determined at various ionic strength ranging from physiological salt concentration to up to 1000 mM. Additionally a new electrochemical approach using functionalised electrodes, i.e. sensitive and selective to bile salt, and thus to control the bile salt concentration in solution (concentrations below the critical micellar concentration (cmc) was attempted, since bile salt removal or injection drives the micelle-to-vesicle or the vesicle-to-micelle transition, respectively, of the mixed aggregational system of EYL/bile salt. Although this control was not achieved within the framework of this thesis, promising results show directions for future experiments.