2019 Impact factor 1.812
Soft Matter and Biological Physics

Eur. Phys. J. E 3, 259-271

Adhesion-induced lateral phase separation in membranes

S. Komura1,2 - D. Andelman2

1 Department of Materials and Interfaces, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel
2 School of Physics and Astronomy, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv 69978, Tel Aviv, Israel

Received 12 January 2000 and Received in final form 15 May 2000

Adhesion between membranes is studied using a phenomenological model, where the inter-membrane distance is coupled to the concentration of sticker molecules on the membranes. The model applies to both adhesion of two flexible membranes and to adhesion of one flexible membrane onto a second membrane supported on a solid substrate. We mainly consider the case where the sticker molecules form bridges and adhere directly to both membranes. The calculated mean-field phase diagrams show an upward shift of the transition temperature indicating that the lateral phase separation in the membrane is enhanced due to the coupling effect. Hence the possibility of adhesion-induced lateral phase separation is predicted. For a particular choice of the parameters, the model exhibits a tricritical behavior. We also discuss the non-monotonous shape of the inter-membrane distance occurring when the lateral phase separation takes place. The inter-membrane distance relaxes to the bulk values with two symmetric overshoots. Adhesion mediated by other types of stickers is also considered.

87.16.-b Subcellular structure and processes - 68.10.-m Fluid surfaces and fluid-fluid interfaces - 82.70.-y Disperse systems

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