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Rapid confocal imaging of vesicle-to-sponge phase droplet transition in dilute dispersions of the C10E3 surfactant

Friday 11 October 2019, by mcube

André Pierre Schroder, Jérôme Joseph Crassous, Carlos Manuel Marques, Ulf Olsson, Scientific Reports volume 9, Article number: 2292 (2019)

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The lamellar-to-sponge phase transition of fluorescently labelled large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) of the non-ionic surfactant triethylene glycol mono n-decyl ether (C10E3) was investigated in situ by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Stable dispersions of micrometer-sized C10E3 LUVs were prepared at 20 °C and quickly heated at different temperatures close to the lamellar-to-sponge phase transition temperature. Phase transition of the strongly fluctuating individual vesicles into micrometre-sized sponge phase droplets was observed to occur via manyfold multilamellar morphologies with increasing membrane confinement through inter- and intra- lamellar fusion. The very low bending rigidity and lateral tension of the C10E3 bilayer were supported by quantitative image analysis of a stable fluctuating membrane using both flicker noise spectroscopy and spatial autocorrelation function.