Glycolipids (amphiphiles that bear oligosaccharides as their hydrophilic headgroups) are of importance both scientifically and technically. This review describes recent advances in our understanding of the molecular correlations in phase behavior in aqueous glycolipids over the past several years. In the first part, we discuss how headgroup stereochemistry affects the phase behavior of glycolipids both in two- and three-dimensional systems. In the second part, we discuss the effects of alkyl chain structure and phase behavior of phytanyl-chained glycolipid/water systems. The physical properties of glycolipid/water systems depend strongly on the inter-headgroup interactions that are related to such factors as stereochemistry (conformation) and size of headgroups, type of sugar residues involved, alkyl chain structure, etc. Thus, apart from the conventional concept like `hydrophilic/lipophilic balance', explicit accounts of headgroup interactions are crucial to control the particular glycolipid/water system concerned. This is in marked contrast to the conventional amphiphile/water systems where the inter-headgroup interactions are in most cases simply repulsive.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry