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Thermal Fluctuations in Shape, Thickness and Molecular Orientation in Lipid Bilayers. II. Finite Surface Tensions

Published

Author(s)

Max NMN Watson, Alex Morriss-Andrews, Paul M. Welch, Frank L. H. Brown

Abstract

We investigate the role of lipid chemical potential on the shape, thickness and molecular orientations (lipid tilting relative to the monolayer surface normal) of lipid bilayers via a continuum-level model. We predict that decreasing the chemical potential at constant temperature, which is associated with an increase in surface tension via the Gibbs-Duhem relation, leads both to the well known reduction in thermal membrane undulations and also to increasing fluctuation amplitudes for bilayer thickness and molecular orientation. These trends are shown to be in good agreement with molecular simulations, however it is impossible to achieve full quantitative agreement between theory and simulation within the confines of the present model. We suggest that the assumption of lipid volume incompressibility, common to our theoretical treatment and other continuum models in the literature, may be partially responsible for the quantitative discrepancies between theory and simulation.
Citation
Journal of Chemical Physics
Volume
139
Issue
8

Citation

, M. , Morriss-Andrews, A. , , P. and H., F. (2013), Thermal Fluctuations in Shape, Thickness and Molecular Orientation in Lipid Bilayers. II. Finite Surface Tensions, Journal of Chemical Physics, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=914112 (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created August 29, 2013, Updated February 19, 2017