Rapid compression transforms interracial monolayers of pulmonary surfactant

Jonathan M. Crane, Stephen (Steve) Hall

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Films of pulmonary surfactant in the lung are metastable at surface pressures well above the equilibrium spreading pressure of 45 mN/m but commonly collapse at that pressure when compressed in vitro. The studies reported here determined the effect of compression rate on the ability of monolayers containing extracted calf surfactant at 37°C to maintain very high surface pressures on the continuous interface of a captive bubble. Increasing the rate from 2 Å2/phospholipid/min (i.e., 3% of (initial area at 40 mN/m)/min) to 23%/s produced only transient increases to 48 mN/m. Above a threshold rate of 32%/s, however, surface pressures reached >68 mN/m. After the rapid compression, static films maintained surface pressures within ±1 mN/m both at these maximum values and at lower pressures following expansion at

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1863-1872
Number of pages10
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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