Advantages of statistical analysis of giant vesicle flickering for bending elasticity measurements
UMR CNRS-ENSCR 6226 “Sciences Chimiques de Rennes”, ENSCR, Université Européenne de Bretagne, Avenue du Général Leclerc, CS 50837, F-35708, Rennes Cedex 7, France
2 Department of Physics and Chemistry, MEMPHYS - Center for Biomembrane Physics, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230, Odense, Denmark
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Accepted: 23 September 2011
Published online: 27 October 2011
We show how to greatly improve precision when determining bending elasticity of giant unilamellar vesicles. Taking advantage of the well-known quasi-spherical model of liposome flickering, we analyze the full probability distributions of the configurational fluctuations instead of limiting the analysis to the second moment measurements only as usually done in previously published works. This leads to objective criteria to reject vesicles that do not behave according to the model. As a result, the confidence in the bending elasticity determination of individual vesicles that fit the model is improved and, consequently, the reproducibility of this measurement for a given membrane system. This approach uncovers new possibilities for bending elasticity studies like detection of minute influences by solutes in the buffer or into the membrane. In the same way, we are now able to detect the inhomogeneous behavior of giant vesicle systems such as the hazardous production of peroxide in bilayers containing fluorescent dyes.
© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2011