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Papers of the Week

2022 Dec 16

Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr

A biophysical study of tear film lipid layer model membranes.


Keramatnejad M, DeWolf C
Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr. 2022 Dec 16:184102.
PMID: 36535341.


Tear film lipid layer (TFLL), the final layer of the human tear film is responsible for surface tension reduction while blinking, water evaporation retardation and maintaining the stability of the tear film. The study of the composition-structure-function relationship of TFLL is paramount, as a compromised structure of TFLL leads to the emergence of dry eye disease (DED) which is one the most prevalent ophthalmic surface diseases of the modern world, associated with chronic pain and reduced visual capability. In this model membrane study, a systematic approach is used to study the biophysical properties of TFLL model membranes as a function of composition. Three mixed-lipid model membranes are studied along with their individual components comprising cholesteryl oleate (CO), glyceryl trioleate (GT), L-α-phosphatidylcholine (egg PC) and a free fatty acid mixture. The models become progressively more complex from binary to quaternary mixtures, allowing the role of each individual lipid to be derived. Langmuir balance, Brewster Angle Microscopy (BAM) and Profile Analysis Tensiometer (PAT) are used to study the surface activity and compression-expansion cycles, morphology, and rheological behaviour of the model membranes, respectively. Evidence of multilayering is observed with inclusion of CO and a reversible collapse is associated with the GT phase transition. An initially more coherent film is observed due to the addition of polar PC. Notably, these individual behaviours are retained in the mixed films and suggest a possible role for each physiological component of TFLL.