Using epifluorescence microscopy, the configuration of myelin figures that are formed upon hydration of lipid stack was studied qualitatively. Little knowledge is currently available for conditions that determine the diameter of myelin figures and their degree of multilamellarity. Examining more than 300 samples, we realized that there are distinct populations of myelin figures protruding from discrete regions of lipid stack. Each population contains myelin figures with similar diameters. This indicates a direct relationship between local characteristics of parent lipid stack and the diameter of myelin figures. Evidenced by fluorescent images, we classified all the observed myelin figures into three major groups of (1) solid tubes, (2) thin tethers, and (3) hollow tubes. Solid tubes are the most common structure of myelin figures which appeared as dense shiny cylinders. Thin tethers, with long hair-shaped structure, were observed protruding from part of lipid plaque which is likely to be under tension. Hollow tubes were protruded from the parts that are unpinned from the substrate and possibly under low or no tension. The abrupt change in the configuration of myelin figures from solid tubes to hollow ones was described in a reproducible experiment where the pinned region of the parent stack became unpinned. Our observations can indicate a relation between the membrane tension of the source material and the diameter of the myelin figures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Materials Science(all)