Mixing of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) potassium salt with dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC)

H. J. Lehmler, W. Xie, G. D. Bothun, P. M. Bummer, B. L. Knutson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Perfluorooctane-1-sulfonic acid (PFOS) is emerging as an important persistent environmental pollutant. To gain insight into the interaction of PFOS with biological systems, the mixing behavior of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) with PFOS was studied using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and fluorescence anisotropy measurements. In the DSC experiments the onset temperature of the DPPC pretransition (Tp) decreased with increasing PFOS concentration, disappearing at XDPPC ≤ 0.97. The main DPPC phase transition temperature showed a depression and peak broadening with increasing mole fraction of PFOS in both the DSC and the fluorescence anisotropy studies. From the melting point depression in the fluorescence anisotropy studies, which was observed at a concentration as low as 10 mg/L, an apparent partition coefficient of K = 5.7 × 104 (mole fraction basis) was calculated. These results suggest that PFOS has a high tendency to partition into lipid bilayers. These direct PFOS-DPPC interactions are one possible mechanism by which PFOS may contribute to adverse effects, for example neonatal mortality, in laboratory studies and possibly in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-29
Number of pages5
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from The University of Iowa Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination (CHEEC), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (ES 012475) and the National Science Foundation (NIRT 0210517). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.


  • DPPC
  • DSC
  • Liposome
  • Membrane fluidity
  • Perfluorinated surfactants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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