2020 Impact factor 1.890
Soft Matter and Biological Physics

Eur. Phys. J. E 6, 91-98 (2001)

Shapes of nearly cylindrical, axisymmetric bilayer membranes

B. Bozic1, V. Heinrich1, S. Svetina1, 2 and B. Zeks1, 2

1  Institute of Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Lipiceva 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2  J. Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia


(Received 27 September 2000 and Received in final form 26 March 2001)

Shapes of nearly cylindrical sections of axisymmetric phospholipid membranes are studied theoretically. Describing the shape of such sections by their deviation from a reference cylinder, the well-established shape equation for axisymmetric bilayer membranes is expanded in terms of this deviation, and it is then solved analytically. The phase diagram shows the resulting stationary shapes as functions of system parameters and external conditions, i.e., the pressure difference across the membrane, the membrane tension, the difference between the tensions of the two monolayers, and the axial force acting on the vesicle. The accuracy of the approximate analytical solution is demonstrated by comparison with numerical results. The obtained analytical solution allows to extend the analysis to include shapes where numerical methods have failed.

87.16.-b - Subcellular structure and processes.
87.16.Dg - Membranes, bilayers, and vesicles.
82.70.-y - Disperse systems; complex fluids.

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