Aggregation on a membrane of particles undergoing active exchange with a reservoir
Ecole Normale Supérieure, Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6, CNRS, Laboratoire de Physique Statistique, 24 rue Lhomond, 75005, Paris, France
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Accepted: 6 February 2012
Published online: 23 February 2012
We investigate the dynamics of clusters made of aggregating particles on a membrane which exchanges particles with a reservoir. Exchanges are driven by chemical reactions which supply energy to the system, leading to the establishment of a non-equilibrium steady state. We predict the distribution of cluster size at steady state. We show in particular that in a regime, that cannot exist at equilibrium, the distribution is bimodal: the membrane is mainly populated of single particles and finite-size clusters. This work is motivated by the observations that have revealed the existence of submicrometric clusters of proteins in biological membranes.
Key words: Biological Physics: Cellular Processes
© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2012