Oxyethylene chain-cation complexation; Nonionic polyoxyethylene detergents attain a positive charge and demonstrate electrostatic head group interactions

H Hagerstrand, Johan Bobacka, M Bobrowska-Hagerstrand, V Kralj-Iglic, M Fosnaric, A Iglic

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We report literature data indicating that the polyoxyethylene chain of polyoxyethylene detergents attracts cations via dipole-ion interactions thereby attaining a positive charge character. This implies that nonionic polyoxyethylene detergents like Triton X-100 and C12E8 may interact electrostatically with phospholipid head groups. We describe how a positive charge character of Triton X-100 and C12E8 can explain their hitherto mysterious stomatocytogenic shape altering effect in human erythrocytes.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)161–165
Number of pages5
JournalCellular and Molecular Biology Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2001
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • erythrocyte membrane
  • shape change
  • CmEn
  • PEG
  • polyoxyethylene
  • Triton X-100

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