Europhys. Lett.
Volume 76, Number 2, October 2006
Page(s) 339 - 345
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 13 September 2006
Europhys. Lett., 76 (2), pp. 339-345 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2006-10249-7

Adhesion of lipid membranes induced by $\chem{CrCl_3}$

T. Franke1, 2, R. Lipowsky1 and W. Helfrich2

1  Max Planck Institut für Kolloid- und Grenzflächenforschung - Am Mühlenberg 1 14476 Golm, Germany
2  Fachbereich Physik, Freie Universität Berlin - Arnimallee 14, 14195 Berlin, Germany

received 13 February 2006; accepted in final form 18 August 2006
published online 13 September 2006

We describe the apparently first reversible unbinding transition of fluid phosphatidylcholine bilayers. It is induced by minute concentrations of $\chem{CrCl_3}$ in aqueous 0.1$\un{M}$ $\chem{NaCl}$ solution. Mutual adhesion sets in at a threshold of $1.1\un{\mu M}$. The adhesion energy increases steeply with $\chem{CrCl_3}$ concentration up to $20\un{\mu J/m^{2}}$. It continues to rise with a much smaller slope until the transition becomes irreversible at ca. $40\un{\mu M}$.

82.70.Uv - Surfactants, micellar solutions, vesicles, lamellae, amphiphilic systems (hydrophilic and hydrophobic interactions).
87.16.Dg - Membranes, bilayers, and vesicles.
87.15.Ya - Fluctuations.

© EDP Sciences 2006