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Issue 42, 2018
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Adhesion dynamics of confined membranes

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We report on the modeling of the dynamics of confined lipid membranes. We derive a thin film model in the lubrication limit which describes an inextensible liquid membrane with bending rigidity confined between two adhesive walls. The resulting equations share similarities with the Swift–Hohenberg model. However, inextensibility is enforced by a time-dependent nonlocal tension. Depending on the excess membrane area available in the system, three different dynamical regimes, denoted as A, B and C, are found from the numerical solution of the model. In regime A, membranes with small excess area form flat adhesion domains and freeze. Such freezing is interpreted by means of an effective model for curvature-driven domain wall motion. The nonlocal membrane tension tends to a negative value corresponding to the linear stability threshold of flat domain walls in the Swift–Hohenberg equation. In regime B, membranes with intermediate excess areas exhibit endless coarsening with coexistence of flat adhesion domains and wrinkle domains. The tension tends to the nonlinear stability threshold of flat domain walls in the Swift–Hohenberg equation. The fraction of the system covered by the wrinkle phase increases linearly with the excess area in regime B. In regime C, membranes with large excess area are completely covered by a frozen labyrinthine pattern of wrinkles. As the excess area is increased, the tension increases and the wavelength of the wrinkles decreases. For large membrane area, there is a crossover to a regime where the extrema of the wrinkles are in contact with the walls. In all regimes after an initial transient, robust localised structures form, leading to an exact conservation of the number of adhesion domains.

Graphical abstract: Adhesion dynamics of confined membranes

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Aug 2018, accepted on 05 Oct 2018 and first published on 08 Oct 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01567H
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018,14, 8552-8569

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    Adhesion dynamics of confined membranes

    T. B. T. To, T. Le Goff and O. Pierre-Louis, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 8552
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01567H

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