Mass spectral imaging of glycophospholipids, cholesterol, and glycophorin A in model cell membranes

Matthew J. Baker, Leiliang Zheng, Nicholas Winograd, Nicholas P. Lockyer, John C. Vickerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) and the Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technique have been used to create and analyze reproducible membrane mimics of the inner and outer leaflets of a cellular membrane to investigate lipid-protein and lipid-lipid interactions. Films composed of phospholipids, cholesterol and an integral membrane protein were utilized. The results show the outer membrane leaflet mimic (DPPC/cholesterol/ glycophorin A LB film) consisting of a single homogeneous phase whereas the inner membrane leaflet mimic (DPPE/cholesterol/glycophorin A LB film) displays heterogeneity in the form of two separate phases. A DPPE/cholesterol phase and a glycophorin A phase. This points to differences in membrane domain formation based upon the different chemical composition of the leaflets of a cell membrane. The reliability of the measurements was enhanced by establishing the influence of the matrix effect upon the measurement and by utlilizing PCA to enhance the contrast of the images.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11803-11810
Number of pages8
Issue number20
Early online date13 Sep 2008
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2008


  • time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry
  • ToF-SIMS
  • lipid interactions
  • cell membrane

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