Volume 77, Number 4, February 2007
Article Number 48003
Number of page(s) 5
Section Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology
Published online 05 February 2007
EPL, 77 (2007) 48003
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/77/48003

Close contact fluctuations: The seeding of signalling domains in the immunological synapse

Amit K. Chattopadhyay and Nigel J. Burroughs

Mathematics Institute, University of Warwick - Coventry CV4 7AL, UK

received 22 August 2006; accepted in final form 12 December 2006; published February 2007
published online 5 February 2007

We analyse the size and density of thermally induced regions of close contact in cell : cell contact interfaces within a harmonic potential approximation, estimating these regions to be below one-tenth of a micron across. Our calculations indicate that as the distance between the close contact threshold depth and the mean membrane-membrane separation increases, the density of close contact patches decreases exponentially while there is only a minimal variation in their mean size. The technique developed can be used to calculate the probability of first crossing in reflection symmetry violating systems.

87.16.Dg - Membranes, bilayers, and vesicles.
05.40.-a - Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion.
87.10.+e - General theory and mathematical aspects.

© Europhysics Letters Association 2007