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Issue 21, 2013
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Spontaneous shape transformation of free-floating lipid membrane nanotubes

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Abstract

Freely floating lipid nanotubes, up to several hundred micrometers long, were found to spontaneously contract in length, and eventually transform into stomatocyte-like structures. This transformation was largely driven by the high curvature energy. The nanotubes equilibrate their membrane leaflet areas, by folding into tubular stomatocyte-like structures without any significant volume change, but require a substantial interleaflet lipid transport rate, estimated to be as high as 0.01–0.001 s−1. The rate of transformation was dependent on the fluorescent membrane stain used, and nanotubes labelled with a water-soluble styryl dye, FM1-43, transformed approximately five-fold faster than nanotubes labelled with the phospholipid conjugated dye Texas Red DHPE.

Graphical abstract: Spontaneous shape transformation of free-floating lipid membrane nanotubes

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Feb 2013, accepted on 11 Apr 2013 and first published on 29 Apr 2013


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50429H
Soft Matter, 2013,9, 5155-5159

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    Spontaneous shape transformation of free-floating lipid membrane nanotubes

    N. Stepanyants, H. Zhang, T. Lobovkina, P. Dommersnes, G. D. M. Jeffries, A. Jesorka and O. Orwar, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 5155
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50429H

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