Lipid Bilayer Reorganization under Extreme pH Conditions

Supported lipid bilayers containing phosphatidylcholine headgroups are observed to undergo reorganization from a 2D fluid, lipid bilayer assembly into an array of complex 3D structures upon exposure to extreme pH environments. These conditions induce a combination of molecular packing and electrostatic interactions that can create dynamic morphologies of highly curved lipid membrane structures. This work demonstrates that fluid, single-component lipid bilayer assemblies can create complex morphologies, a phenomenon typically only associated with lipid bilayers of mixed composition.