Effect of calcium concentration on the structure of casein micelles in thin films

P. Müller-Buschbaum, R. Gebhardt, S. V. Roth, Z. E. Metwalli, W. Doster

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The structure of thin casein films prepared with spin-coating is investigated as a function of the calcium concentration. Grazing incidence small-angle x-ray scattering and atomic force microscopy are used to probe the micelle structure. For comparison, the corresponding casein solutions are investigated with dynamic light-scattering experiments. In the thin films with added calcium three types of casein structures, aggregates, micelles, and mini-micelles, are observed in coexistence with atomic force microscopy and grazing incidence small-angle x-ray scattering. With increasing calcium concentration, the size of the aggregates strongly increases, while the size of micelles slightly decreases and the size of the mini-micelles increases. This effect is explained in the framework of the particle-stabilizing properties of the hairy layer of κ-casein surrounding the casein micelles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)960-968
Number of pages9
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2007


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