Thermodynamics of membrane elasticity – A molecular level approach to one- and two-component fluid amphiphilic membranes, Part II: Applications
Hans-Knöll-Institute for Natural Products Research, Beutenbergstr. 11a, 07745, Jena, Germany
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Published online: 22 February 2005
The theoretical framework developed in the accompanying publication is applied to a number of experimentally relevant amphiphilic systems. These include the influence of thermodynamic conditions and non-ideal mixing on bending elasticity, ellipsoidal modes of microemulsions and vesicles, hydrocarbon chain coupling in bilayers and the effect of osmotic and hydrostatic pressure on inverse hexagonal (H II) phases. It is found that the bending moduli at constant surface tension and constant chemical potentials are markedly different only for two-component membranes and non-ideal mixing with a tendency towards phase separation. The results indicate that non-ideal mixing is the main reason behind the experimentally observed strong compositional dependence of membrane elasticity. It is generally recommended to prefer the bending elastic moduli at constant chemical potentials to those at constant surface tension. A comparison between the area-difference-elasticity (ADE) model and explicit free energy calculations using a molecular model shows a good qualitative agreement for the sphere-to-ellipsoid transition of vesicles. Results for different free energy models of the hydrocarbon chains of amphiphilic molecules suggest that monolayer-monolayer chain coupling is responsible for the relatively higher bending stiffness of bilayers compared to single monolayers. For H II-phases an instability at negative pressure differences is predicted.
© EDP Sciences/Società Italiana di Fisica/Springer-Verlag, 2005