Abstract

High-pressure infrared spectra of aqueous model biomembranes have been studied extensively in this laboratory (Refs. 1–7 and unpublished work from this laboratory). Enhancement of the intermolecular interactions by high pressure has provided new knowledge concerning the structural and dynamical properties of model biomembranes and the interactions between biomembrane lipids and other biomolecules. In aqueous model biomembranes, the structural and dynamical properties are influenced only by the bound water and not by the excess free water. This is evident from the lack of change in the infrared spectra of these aqueous systems at the critical pressures of the formation of ice VI (∼ 12 kbar) and ice VII (∼ 21 kbar). Consequently, the pressure range in these studies has been extended to that above the critical pressure of the ice VI/ice VII transition.

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