Understanding the influence of molecular environment on phospholipids is important in time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) studies of complex systems such as cellular membranes. Varying the molecular environment of model membrane Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) films is shown to affect the TQF-SIMS signal of the phospholipids in the films. The molecular environment of a LB film of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) is changed by varying the film density, varying the sample substrate, and the addition of cholesterol. An increase in film density results in a decrease in the headgroup fragment ion signal at a mass-to-charge ratio of 184 (phosphocholine). Varying the sample substrate increases the secondary ion yield of phosphocholine as does the addition of proton-donating molecules such as cholesterol to the DPPC LB film. Switching from a model system of DPPC and cholesterol to one of dipalmitoylphos-phatidylethanolamine (DPPE) and cholesterol demonstrates the ability of cholesterol to also mask the phospholipid headgroup ion signal. TOF-SIMS studies of simplistic phospholipid LB model membrane systems demonstrate the potential use of these systems in TOF-SIMS analysis of cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces