Polymer-induced tubulation in lipid vesicles

Year: 2008
  • Campelo, F.
  • Hernández-Machado, A.
Journal: Physical Review Letters Volume: 100
Pages: 158103-1-158103-4
ISSN: 0031-9007
A mechanism of extraction of tubular membranes from a lipid vesicle is presented. A concentration gradient of anchoring amphiphilic polymers generates tubes from bud-like vesicle protrusions. We explain this mechanism in the framework of the Canham-Helfrich model. The energy profile is analytically calculated and a tube with a fixed length, corresponding to an energy minimum, is obtained in a certain regime of parameters. Further, using a phase-field model, we corroborate these results numerically. We obtain the growth of tubes when a polymer source is added, and the bud-like shape after removal of the polymer source, in accordance with recent experimental results.
Full text: 2008Polymer.pdf
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