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Self-assembly dynamics in binary surfactant mixtures and structure changes of lipid vesicles induced by detergent solution are studied using coarse-grained molecular simulations. Disk-shaped micelles, the bicelles, are stabilized by detergents surrounding the rim of a bilayer disk of lipids. The self-assembled bicelles are considerably smaller than bicelles formed from vesicle rupture, and their size is determined by the concentrations of lipids and detergents and the interactions between the two species. The detergent-adsorption induces spontaneous curvature of the vesicle bilayer and results in vesicle division into two vesicles or vesicle rupture into worm-like micelles. The division occurs mainly via the inverse pathway of the modified stalk model. For large spontaneous curvature of the monolayers of the detergents, a pore is often opened, thereby leading to vesicle division or worm-like micelle formation.


Hiroshi Noguchi. Structure formation in binary mixtures of lipids and detergents: self-assembly and vesicle division. The Journal of chemical physics. 2013 Jan 14;138(2):024907

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PMID: 23320721

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