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Advances in Condensed Matter Physics
Volume 2015, Article ID 479318, 14 pages
Research Article

Phase Transitions of Binary Lipid Mixtures: A Combined Study by Adiabatic Scanning Calorimetry and Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation Monitoring

1Institute for Materials Research IMO, Hasselt University, Wetenschapspark 1, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
2Division IMOMEC, IMEC vzw, Wetenschapspark 1, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
3Laboratorium voor Akoestiek en Thermische Fysica, Departement Natuurkunde en Sterrenkunde, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D Bus 2416, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
4Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, 748 Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes, 05508-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
5Maastricht Science Programme, Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, Netherlands
6Structurele Materialen, Departement Materiaalkunde, KU Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 44 Bus 2450, 3001 Leuven, Belgium

Received 19 November 2014; Accepted 17 December 2014

Academic Editor: Charles Rosenblatt

Copyright © 2015 P. Losada-Pérez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The phase transitions of binary lipid mixtures are studied by a combination of Peltier-element-based adiabatic scanning calorimetry (pASC) and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D). pASC, a novel type of calorimeter, provides valuable and unambiguous information on the heat capacity and the enthalpy, whereas QCM-D is proposed as a genuine way of determining phase diagrams by analysing the temperature dependence of the viscosity. Two binary mixtures of phospholipids with the same polar head and differing in the alkyl chain length, DMPC + DPPC and DMPC + DSPC, are discussed. Both techniques give consistent phase diagrams, which compare well with literature results, showing their capability to map the phase behaviour of pure lipids as well as lipid mixtures. This work can be considered as a departure point for further investigations on more complex lipid mixtures displaying relevant phases such as the liquid-ordered phase and solid-lipid interfaces with biologically functional importance.