Nonlinear scaling of surface water diffusion with bulk water viscosity of crowded solutions

John M. Franck, John A. Scott, Songi Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The translational hydration dynamics within 0.5-1.5 nm of the surface of a DPPC liposome, a model biomacromolecular surface, is analyzed by the recently developed Overhauser dynamic nuclear polarization (ODNP) technique. We find that dramatic changes to the bulk solvent cause only weak changes in the surface hydration dynamics. Specifically, both a >10-fold increase in bulk viscosity and the restriction of diffusion by confinement on a multiple nm length-scale change the local translational diffusion coefficient of the surface water surrounding the lipid bilayer by <2.5-fold. By contrast, previous ODNP studies have shown that changes to the biomacromolecular surface induced by folding, binding, or aggregation can cause local hydration dynamics to vary by factors of up to 30.(1, 2) We suggest that the surface topology and chemistry at the ≤1.5 nm scale, rather than the characteristics of the solvent, nearly exclusively determine the macromolecule's surface hydration dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4175-4178
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 20 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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