Microscopic folds and macroscopic jerks in compressed lipid monolayers

A. Gopal, V. A. Belyi, H. Diamant*, T. A. Witten, K. Y.C. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


We report hitherto unrecognized cooperative behavior in the stochastic collapse of certain compressed lipid monolayers implicated in pulmonary function. The cooperativity emerges from a statistical analysis of the collapse events captured using fluorescence microscopy and digital image analysis. The collapse events involve folding of the monolayer on a micron scale, yet each event produces a macroscopic jerk of the layer. The cooperative collapse is striking for its temporal sharpness and large spatial extent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10220-10223
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2006


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