AbstractIn order to provide the fundamental information about the interactions of common anionic surfactants with the basic unsaturated phospholipids the influence of three cationic (dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide, DTAB; tetradecyltrimethylammonium bromide, TTAB and hexadecyltrimethylamonium bromide, CTAB) and one anionic (sodium dodecylsulfate, SDS) surfactants on the properties of the 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) and 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) layers was investigated. The studies proved that a tiny amount of the ionic surfactant added to the already synthesized liposome suspension is sufficient to change the zeta potential of the POPC and DOPC liposomes significantly. This impact increases with the surfactant concentration, the alkyl chain length of the surfactant and the degree of lipid saturation. Moreover, this effect is greater for the anionic surfactant than for the cationic one of the same alkyl chain length. The observed findings were confirmed in the course of the research carried out with the use of the corresponding Langmuir monolayers where the surface pressure – mean area isotherms, the compressibility modulus – surface pressure dependences, the monolayer penetration tests, the surface potential – mean molecular area isotherms and Brewster angle microscopy were discussed. It was found that the presence of the surfactants shifts the isotherms towards larger molecular area, to the higher extent for the SDS than DTAB. This effect increases with the increasing surfactant concentration in the subphase. Moreover, the investigated surfactants remain in the monolayer even at high surface pressure. Nevertheless, no effect on the morphology of the POPC and DOPC monolayers was detected from the BAM images. The surface potential and surface charge of the liposomes calculated on the basis of the zeta potential results reflected the interactions between the surfactant and the lipid layers.