Volume 77, Number 3, February 2007
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology|
|Published online||01 February 2007|
Periodic lipidic membrane tubes
Departament d'Estructura i Constituents de la Matèria, Facultat de Física, Universitat de Barcelona - Diagonal 647, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain
2 Laboratoire de Physique Statistique, École Normale Supérieure - 24 rue Lhomond, F-75231 Paris Cedex 05, France
3 Biomedical Engineering Department, Boston University - 44 Cummington Street, Boston, MA 02215, USA
Accepted: 11 December 2006
We investigate the formation of two-phase lipidic tubes of membrane in the framework of the Canham-Helfrich model. The two phases have different elastic moduli (bending and Gaussian rigidity), different tensions and a line tension prevents the mixing. For a set of parameters close to experimental values, periodic patterns with arbitrary wavelength can be found numerically. A wavelength selection is detected via the existence of an energy minimum. When the chemical composition induces an important enough size disequilibrium between both phases, a segregation into two half infinite tubes is preferred to a periodic structure.
PACS: 87.16.Dg – Membranes, bilayers, and vesicles / 87.10.+e – Biological and medical physics: general theory and mathematical aspects / 68.03.Cd – Surface tension and related phenomena
© Europhysics Letters Association, 2007
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