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Structure of the Cubic Phase of Lipid-Water Systems


IN the course of the structure analysis of the mesomorphic phases occurring in lipid–water systems1–4 we have observed an optically isotropic phase, the X-ray reflexions of which can be indexed on a face-centred cubic lattice2,3. We assumed that its structure consists of spherical particles, packed in a face-centred cubic lattice. We further postulated that the spheres consist of micelles containing lipid2,3; but we pointed out that the alternative model, formed by water spheres embedded in a hydrocarbon matrix, could not be discarded solely on the basis of the X-ray data5. We intend to show in this communication that the latter structure is in fact more satisfactory, when other lines of evidence are taken into account.

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    Luzzati, V., Mustacchi, H., and Skoulios, A., Disc. Faraday Soc., 25, 43 (1958).

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    Mustacchi, H., thesis, Univ. Strasbourg (1958).

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    Reiss-Husson, F. (unpublished observations).

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LUZZATI, V., REISS-HUSSON, F. Structure of the Cubic Phase of Lipid-Water Systems. Nature 210, 1351–1352 (1966).

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