Volume 48, Number 1, October I 1999
|Page(s)||99 - 105|
|Section||Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology|
|Published online||01 September 2002|
Many-body forces between membrane inclusions: A new pattern-formation mechanism
Department of Physics, Graduate Group in Biophysics, University of California Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
2 Department of Mathematics, University of California - Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
3 Departments of Molecular & Cellular Biology and ESPM, University of California Berkeley, CA 94720-3112, USA
Accepted: 26 July 1999
The elastic interaction of membrane inclusions provides a unique physical realization of multibody forces. We derive an expression for the multibody curvature interaction between membrane proteins, and show that this interaction cannot be approximated by a pairwise additive theory. However, the interaction can be decomposed into a repulsive pairwise part and a non-pairwise part of similar magnitude which is anisotropic and can be attractive. This non-pairwise interaction can create stable spatial patterns which arise from an interplay between thermal fluctuations and competing pairwise repulsive and non-pairwise attractive interactions. We present numerical simulations which show how aggregates can assemble into ordered patterns from a random initial distribution at room temperature .
PACS: 87.10.+e – Biological and medical physics: General theory and mathematical aspects
© EDP Sciences, 1999
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