Interactions and structural effects in model membranes and triglycerides of molecules playing key roles in oxidation

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Chemistry


There is recent evidence that the antioxidant mechanism of alpha-tocopherol (alpha-TOC) is strongly correlated with its location inside lipid bilayers or inverse micelles. In this project we plan to study the interactions, location, orientation and structural effects of antioxidants such as alpha-TOC in model lipid membranes, and correlate this with the antioxidant activity of the additive molecules. We will employ primarily x-ray and neutron scattering, solid-state NMR, optical microscopy, and uv-vis and fluorescence spectroscopy.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512540/1 01/10/2017 31/03/2022
1935994 Studentship EP/R512540/1 30/09/2017 29/12/2021 Divya Malia
Description The effect of vitamin E has been analysed on lipid membranes. The results thus far have shown that vitamin E (which is an important antioxidant within our cells) can form a structural lipid phase which is similar to that of cholesterol. When cholesterol binds to our cell membranes it forms the liquid ordered phase, which is important for cell signalling processes. The data I have gathered suggests that vitamin E can also induce this unique liquid ordered phase.
Exploitation Route The functional aspect of Vitamin E is being studied by many sectors. Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant therefore can intercept harmful toxins produced by drugs or cancer treatments. It is also a major constituent in skincare products. My research establishes the structural impact of Vitamin E, if the structural and functional impacts are combined in future studies then the impact of the molecule can harnessed and targeted more effectively.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology