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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(1), 2203-2229; doi:10.3390/ijms14012203

Adhesion-Induced Phase Behavior of Two-Component Membranes and Vesicles

1 Theory & Bio-Systems, Max Planck Insitute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam 14424, Germany 2 Biophysical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 December 2012 / Revised: 17 January 2013 / Accepted: 18 January 2013 / Published: 22 January 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Assembled Soft Matter Nanostructures at Interfaces)
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The interplay of adhesion and phase separation is studied theoretically for two-component membranes that can phase separate into two fluid phases such as liquid-ordered and liquid-disordered phases. Many adhesion geometries provide two different environments for these membranes and then partition the membranes into two segments that differ in their composition. Examples are provided by adhering vesicles, by hole- or pore-spanning membranes, and by membranes supported by chemically patterned surfaces. Generalizing a lattice model for binary mixtures to these adhesion geometries, we show that the phase behavior of the adhering membranes depends, apart from composition and temperature, on two additional parameters, the area fraction of one membrane segment and the affinity contrast between the two segments. For the generic case of non-vanishing affinity contrast, the adhering membranes undergo two distinct phase transitions and the phase diagrams in the composition/temperature plane have a generic topology that consists of two two-phase coexistence regions separated by an intermediate one-phase region. As a consequence, phase separation and domain formation is predicted to occur separately in each of the two membrane segments but not in both segments simultaneously. Furthermore, adhesion is also predicted to suppress the phase separation process for certain regions of the phase diagrams. These generic features of the adhesion-induced phase behavior are accessible to experiment.
Keywords: lipid membranes; phase separation; fluid-fluid coexistence; intramemembrane domains; membrane adhesion; phase diagrams lipid membranes; phase separation; fluid-fluid coexistence; intramemembrane domains; membrane adhesion; phase diagrams
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Rouhiparkouhi, T.; Weikl, T.R.; Discher, D.E.; Lipowsky, R. Adhesion-Induced Phase Behavior of Two-Component Membranes and Vesicles. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 2203-2229.

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