Thin film fabrication and characterization in Paris!


KSV NIMA will exhibit at the LB14/ICOMF14 conference in Paris from the 10th to the 13th of July 2012. The conference focuses on organized molecular film fabrication and characterization. Come to our booth and find out how our instruments can benefit your research.

The new KSV NIMA Ribbon Barrier Trough for fabrication and study of highly compressed monolayers will be presented at the conference. The instrument will be visible at the KSV NIMA booth and a poster “High surface pressure Langmuir isotherms of pulmonary surfactants” will be presented during the poster session (see abstract below).

KSV NIMA will also give a talk during the poster session. The talk will focus on KSV NIMA latest technologies and emphasis how they can be used to answer your application challenges.


KSV NIMA Ribbon Barrier Trough Paris 2012



KSV NIMA Abstract at LB14/ICOMF14, Paris, July 2012:


High surface pressure Langmuir isotherms of pulmonary surfactants


Kaisa E. Lilja, Jaakko Välimaa


Biolin Scientific, Tietäjäntie 2, FI-02130 Espoo, Finland


E-Mail address (corresponding author):



Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) is one of the phospholipids present on the alveoli (lung) surface. It is known that the highly ordered solid phase of DPPC sustains the near-zero surface tension on the alveoli during exhalation [1]. Other phospholipids cannot nor­mally be compressed to such low surface tensions at close-to body temperatures. Traditionally selective enrichment, the so-called squeeze-out model, is used to explain how a dense film of DPPC is formed on the alveoli surface. In the model, phospholipids other than DPPC are gradually removed from the interfacial monolayer during compression (exhalation) and only a film consisting purely of DPPC is left.


In order to model the actual surfactant behavior in the alveoli, meas­urements at near-zero surface tensions are needed. Several groups have investigated the behavior of DPPC under low surface tensions using Langmuir troughs [2,3], but with a conventional Langmuir trough it is challenging to measure near-zero surface tensions. Previ­ously, captive bubble surfactometers and Langmuir systems with rhombic (diamond shape) frames have been used for these measure­ments [4-6]. A Langmuir trough offers the benefit of having the monolayer deposited on a substrate and/or visible for characterisation by several techniques.


We show that a KSV NIMA Langmuir Ribbon Barrier Trough can be used to measure near-zero surface tensions of DPPC. The low surface tensions and hence high surface pressures approaching 72 mN/m were measured using a Ribbon Barrier Trough and controlled compression of the monolayer area. The method enables easy, highly controlled and reliable compression measurements on natural phospholipid surfactants and allows experimental examination of the phase transitions and the selective enrichment process of DPPC on the alveoli surface.  The KSV NIMA Langmuir Ribbon Barrier Trough is suitable for studying monolayers at high surface pressures. Such high pressures can be of interest in a number of applications.




[1] Zuo, Y. Y. J. Appl. Physiol. 102, 1733-1734 (2007).

[2] Xicohtencatl-Cortes, J.; Mas-Oliva, J.; Castillo, R. J. Phys. Chem. B 108, 7307-7315 (2004).

[3] Zhang, H.; Wang, Y. E.; Fan, Q.; Zuo, Y. Y. Lang­muir 27, 8351-8358 (2011).

[4] Schürch, S.; Goerke, J.; Clements, J. A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 73, 4698-4702 (1976).

[5] Yu, S.-H.; Possmayer, F. J. Lipid Res. 39, 555-568 (1998).

[6] Yan, W.; Biswas, S. C.; Laderas, T. G.; Hall, S. B. J. Appl. Physiol. 102, 1739-1745 (2007).