Analytic Model for the Dipole Potential of a Lipid Layer.

The journal of physical chemistry. B

PubMedID: 24912019

Bohinc K, Giner-Casares JJ, May S. Analytic Model for the Dipole Potential of a Lipid Layer. J Phys Chem B. 2014;.
The larger permeability of anions than cations through a lipid bilayer can be rationalized by the positive sign of the bilayer's dipole potential. That is, upon crossing the lipid headgroups toward the hydrocarbon chain region the electrostatic potential increases by several hundred millivolts. We derive an analytic expression for the dipole potential of a single lipid layer using an electrostatic model that is based on an extended version of the linearized Poisson-Boltzmann theory. The model highlights the ability of the lipid headgroups to render the dipole potential positive by inducing an orientational ordering of the solvent molecules. The positive contribution of the solvent overcompensates the negative dipole potential due to the bare lipids. Our theoretical prediction compares accurately with measurements of the dipole potential that we have conducted for mixed anionic-zwitterionic lipid monolayers at the air-water interface.