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Issue 4, 2019
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Limiting shapes of confined lipid vesicles

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We theoretically study the shapes of lipid vesicles confined to a spherical cavity, elaborating a framework based on the so-called limiting shapes constructed from geometrically simple structural elements such as double-membrane walls and edges. Partly inspired by numerical results, the proposed non-compartmentalized and compartmentalized limiting shapes are arranged in the bilayer-couple phase diagram which is then compared to its free-vesicle counterpart. We also compute the area-difference-elasticity phase diagram of the limiting shapes and we use it to interpret shape transitions experimentally observed in vesicles confined within another vesicle. The limiting-shape framework may be generalized to theoretically investigate the structure of certain cell organelles such as the mitochondrion.

Graphical abstract: Limiting shapes of confined lipid vesicles

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Article information

24 Sep 2018
28 Dec 2018
First published
10 Jan 2019

Soft Matter, 2019,15, 602-614
Article type

Limiting shapes of confined lipid vesicles

B. Kavčič, A. Sakashita, H. Noguchi and P. Ziherl, Soft Matter, 2019, 15, 602
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01956H

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