Formation of adhesion domains in stressed and confined membranes
The adhesion bonds connecting a lipid bilayer to an underlying surface may undergo a condensation transition resulting from an interplay between a short range attractive potential between them, and a long range fluctuation-induced potential of mean force. Here, we use computer simulations of a coarse-grained molecular model of supported lipid bilayers to study this transition in confined membranes, and in membranes subjected to a non-vanishing surface tension. Our results show that confinement may alter significantly the condensation transition of the adhesion bonds, whereas the application of surface tension has a very minor effect on it. We also investigate domain formation in membranes under negative tension which, in free membranes, causes the enhancement of the amplitude of membrane thermal undulations. Our results indicate that in supported membranes, this effect of a negative surface tension on the fluctuation spectrum is largely eliminated by the pressure resulting from the mixing entropy of the adhesion bonds.