Accurate determination of elastic parameters for multicomponent membranes

Stefan Semrau*, Timon Idema, Laurent Holtzer, Thomas Schmidt, Cornelis Storm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


Heterogeneities in the cell membrane due to coexisting lipid phases have been conjectured to play a major functional role in cell signaling and membrane trafficking. Thereby the material properties of multiphase systems, such as the line tension and the bending moduli, are crucially involved in the kinetics and the asymptotic behavior of phase separation. In this Letter we present a combined analytical and experimental approach to determine the properties of phase-separated vesicle systems. First we develop an analytical model for the vesicle shape of weakly budded biphasic vesicles. Subsequently experimental data on vesicle shape and membrane fluctuations are taken and compared to the model. The parameters obtained set limits for the size and stability of nanodomains in the plasma membrane of living cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number088101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2008

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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