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The Mechanism of Chitosan Enhanced Lung Surfactant Adsorption at the Air-Liquid Interface in the Presence of Serum Proteins

  • Patrick C Stenger (a1), Omer M Palazoglu (a2) and Joseph A Zasadzinski (a3)


Pressure-area isotherms and fluorescence microscopy were used to investigate the impact of chitosan on the competitive adsorption between lung surfactant (LS) and serum proteins at the air-liquid interface. Isotherms demonstrate an optimum chitosan concentration to mediate LS adsorption; higher concentrations actually reduce the amount of LS which can adsorb. Fluorescence microscopy images show the transition from a serum protein to LS-covered interface for the optimum chitosan concentration; this transition goes through a sharply phase separated coexistence region. The results suggest that the cationic chitosan molecules mediate adsorption of the negatively charged LS aggregates by reducing the electrostatic barrier imposed by negatively charged interfacial serum proteins.



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