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Issue 46, 2012
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Shapes of pored membranes

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We study the shapes of pored membranes within the framework of the Helfrich theory under the constraints of fixed area and pore size. We show that the mean curvature term leads to a budding-like structure, while the Gaussian curvature term tends to flatten the membrane near the pore; this is corroborated by simulation. We propose a scheme to deduce the ratio of the Gaussian rigidity to the bending rigidity simply by observing the shape of the pored membrane. This ratio is usually difficult to measure experimentally. In addition, we briefly discuss the stability of a pore by relaxing the constraint of a fixed pore size and adding the line tension. Finally, the flattening effect due to the Gaussian curvature as found in studying pored membranes is extended to two-component membranes. We find that sufficiently high contrast between the components' Gaussian rigidities leads to budding which is distinct from that due to the line tension.

Graphical abstract: Shapes of pored membranes

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Jul 2012, accepted on 18 Sep 2012 and first published on 08 Oct 2012

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM26608C
Soft Matter, 2012,8, 11613-11619

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    Shapes of pored membranes

    Z. Yao, R. Sknepnek, C. K. Thomas and M. Olvera de la Cruz, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 11613
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SM26608C

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