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International Journal of Biomedical Imaging
Volume 2010, Article ID 125850, 9 pages
Research Article

Characterization of the Lateral Distribution of Fluorescent Lipid in Binary-Constituent Lipid Monolayers by Principal Component Analysis

1Department of Neurology and Center for Translational Systems Biology, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA
2Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, Austin, MN 55912, USA
3Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 117997, Russian Federation, Russia

Received 23 September 2009; Revised 23 December 2009; Accepted 21 January 2010

Academic Editor: Shan Zhao

Copyright © 2010 István P. Sugár 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.


Lipid lateral organization in binary-constituent monolayers consisting of fluorescent and nonfluorescent lipids has been investigated by acquiring multiple emission spectra during measurement of each force-area isotherm. The emission spectra reflect BODIPY-labeled lipid surface concentration and lateral mixing with different nonfluorescent lipid species. Using principal component analysis (PCA) each spectrum could be approximated as the linear combination of only two principal vectors. One point on a plane could be associated with each spectrum, where the coordinates of the point are the coefficients of the linear combination. Points belonging to the same lipid constituents and experimental conditions form a curve on the plane, where each point belongs to a different mole fraction. The location and shape of the curve reflects the lateral organization of the fluorescent lipid mixed with a specific nonfluorescent lipid. The method provides massive data compression that preserves and emphasizes key information pertaining to lipid distribution in different lipid monolayer phases. Collectively, the capacity of PCA for handling large spectral data sets, the nanoscale resolution afforded by the fluorescence signal, and the inherent versatility of monolayers for characterization of lipid lateral interactions enable significantly enhanced resolution of lipid lateral organizational changes induced by different lipid compositions.