The interaction of three bioactive peptides, bombesin, beta-endorphin, and glucagon with a phosphatidylcholine monolayer that was immobilized to porous silica particles and packed into a stainless steel column cartridge, has been studied using dynamic elution techniques. This immobilized lipid monolayer provides a biophysical model system with which to study the binding of peptides to a lipid membrane. In particular, the influence of temperature and methanol concentration on the affinity of each peptide for the immobilized lipid surface was assessed. For all test peptides, nonlinear retention plots were observed at all temperatures that contrasted sharply with the simple linear plots observed for the small unstructured control molecules N-acetyltryptophanamide and diphenylalanine. An analysis of the thermodynamics of the interaction of peptides with the immobilized monolayer was also carried out. The results revealed that while the peptides interacted with the monolayer predominantly through hydrophobic interactions, the relative contribution of DeltaH(assoc)(O) and DeltaS(assoc)(O) to the overall free energy of association was dependent on the temperature and methanol concentration. In particular, it was evident that under most conditions, the binding of the peptides to the immobilized lipid monolayer was enthalpy-driven, i.e., mediated by nonclassical hydrophobic interactions. Significant band-broadening and asymmetric and split peaks were also observed for bombesin, beta-endorphin, and glucagon at different temperatures and methanol concentrations. These changes in affinity and peak shape are consistent with the formation of multiple conformational species during the interaction of these peptides with the lipid monolayer. In addition, the binding behavior of the three test peptides on an n-octylsilica surface that lacked the phospho headgroups of the phospholipid was significantly different from that observed with the immobilized phosphatidylcholine surface, indicating a specificity of interaction between the peptides and the lipid surface. Overall, these experimental results demonstrate that the biomimetic phosphatidylcholine monolayer provides a stable and sensitive system with which to explore the molecular mechanism of peptide conformational changes during membrane interactions.