Volume 84, Number 5, December 2008
Article Number 58008
Number of page(s) 6
Section Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology
Published online 16 December 2008
EPL, 84 (2008) 58008
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/84/58008

Curved inclusions surf membrane waves

R. Shlomovitz and N. S. Gov

Department of Chemical Physics, The Weizmann Institute of Science - P.O.B. 26, Rehovot, 76100, Israel

received 22 September 2008; accepted in final form 3 November 2008; published December 2008
published online 16 December 2008

In this letter we describe how membrane inclusions that have a spontaneous curvature, will be convected on the membrane due to the propagation of membrane waves. We calculate the Stokes drift of such particles and the effect on their overall density field. We solve analytically for a uniform sinusoidal wave in the absence of diffusion, and using simulations for the more realistic case of decaying waves with diffusion. In the latter case we provide some good analytic approximations. A variety of such membrane waves that propagate over a significant proportion of the cell surface exists in living cells, and we therefore show that they can play a role in transporting membrane proteins.

87.16.dp - Transport, including channels, pores, and lateral diffusion. - Analytical theories.

© EPLA 2008