Refined contour analysis of giant unilamellar vesicles
Section Recherche, Physico-Chimie Curie, Institut Curie, 11 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75231, Paris Cedex 5, France
2 Biological Sciences, Columbia University, NY 10027, New York, USA
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The fluctuation spectrum of giant unilamellar vesicles is measured using a high-resolution contour detection technique. An analysis at higher q vectors than previously achievable is now possible due to technical improvements of the experimental setup and of the detection algorithm. The global fluctuation spectrum is directly fitted to deduce the membrane tension and the bending modulus of lipid membranes. Moreover, we show that the planar analysis of fluctuations is valid for spherical objects, even at low wave vectors. Corrections due to the integration time of the video camera and to the section of a 3D object by the observation plane are introduced. A precise calculation of the error bars has been done in order to provide reliable error estimate. Eventually, using this technique, we have measured bending moduli for EPC, SOPC and SOPC: CHOL membranes confirming previously published values. An interesting application of this technique can be the measurement of the fluctuation spectra for non-equilibrium membranes, such as “active membranes”.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2004