Volume 67, Number 1, July 2004
|144 - 149
|Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
|01 June 2004
Experimental evidence of the electrostatic contribution to membrane bending rigidity
MEMPHYS - Centre for Biomembrane Physics, Department of Physics University of Southern Denmark - Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense, Denmark
Accepted: 28 April 2004
We have investigated the thermal fluctuations of giant unilamellar dimyristoylphosphatidlycholine vesicles in the presence of both non-ionic and ionic surfactants (peptides) with identical apolar chains. Using vesicle fluctuation analysis, the effects of ionic and non-ionic surfactants upon membrane bending rigidity in the case of no added salt have been determined and the electrostatic contribution thereby isolated. We interpret these experimental findings in terms of a mean-field free-energy model for the adsorption of charged surfactants to a lipid bilayer and couple these results to describe the electrostatic contribution to membrane bending rigidity. This experimental study demonstrates how electrostatics affect the elastic properties of unilamellar bilayers.
PACS: 87.16.Dg – Membranes, bilayers, and vesicles / 41.20.Cv – Electrostatics; Poisson and Laplace equations, boundary-value problems / 62.20.Dc – Elasticity, elastic constants
© EDP Sciences, 2004
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