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Relations for lipid bilayers. Connection of electron density profiles to other structural quantities.

  • J F Nagle
  • M C Wiener
Publication Date
Feb 01, 1989


Three relations are derived that connect low angle diffraction/scattering results obtained from lipid bilayers to other structural quantities of interest. The first relates the area along the surface of the bilayer, the measured specific volume, and the zeroth order structure factor, F(0). The second relates the size of the trough in the center of the electron density profile, the volume of the terminal methyl groups, and the volume of the methylene groups in the fatty acid chains. The third relates the size of the headgroup electron density peak, the volume of the headgroup, and the volumes of water and hydrocarbon in the headgroup region. These relations, which are easily modified for neutron diffraction, are useful for obtaining structural quantities from electron density profiles obtained by fitting model profiles to measured low angle x-ray intensities.

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