Forma, Vol. 4 (No. 2), pp. 103-121, 2001

Myelin Forms of Phospholipids

Kiyoshi Mishima1 and Koichi Satoh2

1Department of Physics, College of Art & Science, Showa University, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi 403, Japan
2Department of Physics, The Jikei University School of Medicine, Chofu, Tokyo 182, Japan

(Received September 6, 1989; Accepted November 24, 1989)

Keywords: Myelin Forms, Phospholipid, Growth Rate, Electric Field Effects

Abstract. We review the optical microscopic studies of "myelin forms", which are formed from the self-assembly of lipid molecules in bulk in contact with water and have a well-defined structure of multi-lamellar bilayers. It is shown that the myelin forms of phospholipids are formed in the fluid state, and that they change morphologically in the growth process because of their metastable character. Nature of the hydrophilic region of lipid molecules has a fair effect on the morphology. The growth mechanism of myelin forms is interpreted from our recent results of growth rate measurements. Orientation of myelin forms induced by external fields, especially by an alternating electric field, is also shown.