Langmuir monolayers of fractions of cork suberin extract


The wide variability in composition and molecular weight of natural polymers has hampered understanding of their physicochemical properties and ultimately their use in noble applications, especially in the cases where surface properties need to be probed at the molecular level. A useful approach to analyse data from surface monolayers of complex mixtures is to try distinguishing the effects from the distinct fractions in such mixtures. The cork suberin extract investigated here is known to contain aliphatic monomers with terminal carboxylic acid and methyl ester groups as well as long esterified aliphatic chains dispersed in a polymeric aliphatic matrix. The role of such terminal groups was studied and the results showed that depending on the nature of the terminal groups the monolayers present distinct isotherms due to the different interactions with the water subphase. Fractionation strategies based on different solubilities of the cork suberin components in chloroform were also employed to probe their effect on the monolayer characteristics. From the two sets of experiments it is clear that the presence of monomers with terminal carboxylic acids in the suberin extract affects considerably the monolayer-forming ability. This approach may be used as a complementary, relatively simple route to assess suberin genetic engineering strategies towards resistance to environmental stress. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




Biophysics; Chemistry; Materials Science


Barros-Timmons, A; Lopes, MH; Neto, CP; Dhanabalan, A; Oliveira, ON

nossos autores


This work was supported by FCT (Portugal), FAPESP and CNPq (Brazil).

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