Modelling the dynamics of vesicle reshaping and scission under osmotic shocks†
We study the effects of osmotic shocks on lipid vesicles via coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations by explicitly considering the solute in the system. We find that depending on their nature (hypo- or hypertonic) such shocks can lead to bursting events or engulfing of external material into inner compartments, among other morphology transformations. We characterize the dynamics of these processes and observe a separation of time scales between the osmotic shock absorption and the shape relaxation. Our work consequently provides an insight into the dynamics of compartmentalization in vesicular systems as a result of osmotic shocks, which can be of interest in the context of early proto-cell development and proto-cell compartmentalisation.