Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.133, No.35, 13860-13863, 2011
A Highly Oriented Cubic Phase Formed by Lipids under Shear
We demonstrate the formation of a macroscopically oriented inverse bicontinuous cubic (Q(II)) lipid phase from a sponge (L(3)) phase by controlled hydration during shear flow. The L(3) phase was the monoolein/butanediol/water system; the addition of water reduces the butanediol concentration, inducing the formation of a diamond (Q(II)(D)) cubic phase, which is oriented by the shear flow. The phenomenon was reproduced in both capillary and Couette geometries, indicating that this represents a robust general route for the production of highly aligned bulk Q(II) samples, with applications in nanomaterial templating and protein research.