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A simple model is used to study the equilibrium of lipid domains on two-phase vesicles. Two classes of configurations are considered: multidomain and ground state configurations. For multidomain configurations, the vesicle has a finite number of identical lipid domains. For ground state configurations, the vesicle is fully phase separated into two coexisting domains. Whereas the volume enclosed by a vesicle with multidomains is fixed, the volume enclosed by a vesicle in a ground state is allowed to vary with the osmotic pressure. Guided by experimental observations, all domains are assumed to be spherical caps. In a multidomain configuration, the line tension is found to decrease with the number of domains present, with possible exceptions when the number of domains is very small. The importance of a critical osmotic pressure and a critical excess radius on ground state configurations is explored. Emphasis is placed on understanding the variations of these critical quantities with relevant parameters.

Citation

Mohsen Maleki, Eliot Fried. Multidomain and ground state configurations of two-phase vesicles. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society. 2013 Jun 6;10(83):20130112

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PMID: 23516066

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