Pulmonary surfactant: Phase behavior and function

Barbora Piknova, Vincent Schram, Stephen B. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Pulmonary surfactant functions by first flowing rapidly into the alveolar air/water interface, but then resisting collapse from the surface when the adsorbed interfacial film is compressed during exhalation. Widely accepted models emphasize the importance of phase behavior in both processes. Recent studies show, however, that fluidity is a relatively minor determinant of adsorption and that solid films, which resist collapse, can form by kinetic processes unrelated to equilibrium phase behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-494
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Structural Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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