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Soft Matter and Biological Physics

Eur. Phys. J. E 5, 403-414 (2001)

Adsorption of polymers anchored to membranes

M. Breidenich, R.R. Netz and R. Lipowsky

Max-Planck-Institut für Kolloid- und Grenzflächenforschung, 14424 Potsdam, Germany


(Received 20 October 2000)

Polymers, which are attached to a membrane at one of their ends, exert an entropic pressure, which curves the membrane away from the polymers. It is shown that adsorption which arises from a short-ranged potential between the polymer and the membrane has a large influence on the curvature of the membrane, leading to a decrease of the entropically induced curvature. If one ignores the finite size of the anchor segment, the polymer-induced curvature does not change sign and vanishes in the limit of strong adsorption and a pure contact potential. If one includes the finite size of the anchor segment, the membrane bends towards the polymer for sufficiently strong adsorption.

36.20.-r - Macromolecules and polymer molecules.
05.40.-a - Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise and Brownian motion.
82.70.-y - Disperse systems.

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2001