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In biological systems, water takes up to 80% of the volume inside a cell. This water solubilizes the biological macromolecules such as the DNA, proteins and lipids. Recent advancements have shown that the water at the interface of a lipid membrane is structured, as five layers of structured water have been found at this solvent cage. Steady state Raman spectroscopy of water in lipids was performed in an attempt to elucidate the structure of water at the biological interface. Deuterium oxide (heavy water) was employed to hydrate lipid biomolecules. The heavier deuterium atom shifts the molecular vibrations and renders them distinct from conventional OH vibrations. Raman spectroscopy was used to probe the difficulties of observing the vibrational signature of the water molecule at low hydration limits. It was demonstrated that Raman can identify signatures of potential structured forms of water at the interface with lipid membranes.
Bahrani,B., O’Neill, L. and Byrne, H.J. (2015) “Vibrational Spectroscopic Studies to Elucidate the Structure of Water at Biological Interfaces“, International Journal of Latest Research in Science and Technology, 4, 28-31 (2015)
Science Foundation Ireland