EXPERIMENTAL AND THEORETICAL-STUDY OF TOROIDAL VESICLES

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOC, Volume 68, Number 16, ONE PHYSICS ELLIPSE, COLLEGE PK, MD 20740-3844 USA, p.2551-2554 (1992)

Keywords:

CELL; LIPID TUBULES; MEMBRANES; MINIMUM ENERGY; SHAPE TRANSFORMATIONS; SURFACES

Abstract:

We report the observation of toroidal and higher genus vesicles of diacetylenic phospholipids, a class of polymerizable amphiphiles. When unpolymerized, the vesicles exhibit different toroidal shapes in quantitative agreement with recent theoretical predictions. When partially polymerized, only a specific family of shapes has been observed: the Clifford torus or the branch of nonaxisymmetric shapes obtained by its conformal transformations. Assuming that partially polymerized vesicles are permeable on short time scale, we give a physical explanation of our findings. We also report the results of a variational calculation which approximates the nonaxisymmetric shape problem for finite spontaneous curvature.