Unravelling the structural changes of phospholipid membranes in presence of graphene oxide

Priya Mandal, Gourav Bhattacharya, Arpan Bhattacharyya, Susanta S. Roy, Sajal K. Ghosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Graphene-based nano-technology is the future of biomedical devices including biosensors and, hence, it is essential to unravel the interaction of graphene oxide (GO) with cellular membrane. Here, the structural reorganization of lipid molecules, which are the building blocks of a cellular membrane, has been demonstrated in presence of GO flakes. The membrane is mimicked by forming a stack of lipid bilayers of zwitterionic phospholipid 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) and its structures have been probed by X-ray reflectivity and grazing incidence X-ray diffraction techniques. Lipid-GO composites have exhibited two sets of lamellar diffraction peaks illustrating GO-rich micro-domains in the matrix of phospholipid bilayers (GO-poor phase). In these domains, the GO flakes are observed to penetrate into hydrophobic core of the bilayer altering the thickness along with the overall electron density profile of the lipid layer. The GO-poor bilayer is closely related to the phase formed by pristine lipid molecules. The lattice parameters of a body-centred rectangular unit cell formed by chains of saturated phospholipids are found to be modified in presence of GO with a significant effect on molecular tilt. The structural description of GO-membrane interaction may pave the way of discerning the physical behaviour of the composites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number148252
JournalApplied Surface Science
Early online date27 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology (DST), India for funding the project (File no. EMR/20 l6/006221). We acknowledge DST for financial support and Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, India for facilitating the experiments at the Indian Beamline, Photon Factory, KEK, Japan. We would like to thank Prof. Tim Salditt and his group for MATLAB tool used in analysing the diffraction data. P. Mandal thanks Shiv Nadar University for the research fellowship.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Electron density profile
  • Graphene oxide
  • Lipid chain configuration
  • Lipid membrane
  • X-ray scattering


Dive into the research topics of 'Unravelling the structural changes of phospholipid membranes in presence of graphene oxide'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this