Volume 48, Number 4, November II 1999
|435 - 441
|Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties
|01 September 2002
Coupling chemical reactions to membrane curvature: A photochemical morphology switch
Max-Planck-Institut für Kolloid- und Grenzflächenforschung Am Mühlenberg, 14476 Golm, Germany
Accepted: 17 September 1999
We investigate the morphological response of giant phosphatidylcholine vesicles to a photochemical reaction taking place in the aqueous medium. We control the sign and magnitude of membrane curvature by inducing photoaquation of ferricyanide inside or outside the vesicle capsules. Curvature response is quantified via analysis of changes in vesicle shapes and in their thermal fluctuation spectra. As an underlying mechanism for the light-induced change in membrane curvature, we propose asymmetric charging of the internal or external monolayers by ion adsorption. Our study provides a specific example of a coupling between chemical reactions and interfacial geometry. The new photo-morphological effect may be used as a fast and reversible switch of membrane curvature.
PACS: 68.10.-m – Fluid surfaces and fluid-fluid interfaces / 87.16.Dg – Membranes, bilayers, and vesicles
© EDP Sciences, 1999
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