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Eur Phys J E Soft Matter. 2017 Sep;40(9):77. doi: 10.1140/epje/i2017-11566-8. Epub 2017 Sep 19.

Elastic and dynamic properties of membrane phase-field models.

Author information

1
Martin Fisher School of Physics, Brandeis University, 02454, Waltham, MA, USA. grolazaro@gmail.com.
2
Departament de Fisica de la Matèria Condensada, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 645, E08028, Barcelona, Spain.
3
Universitat de Barcelona Institute of Complex Systems (UBICS), Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
4
CECAM, Centre Européen de Calcul Atomique et Moléculaire, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lasuanne, Batochime, Avenue Forel 2, 1015, Lausanne, Switzerland.
5
Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IN2UB), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

Phase-field models have been extensively used to study interfacial phenomena, from solidification to vesicle dynamics. In this article, we analyze a phase-field model that captures the relevant physical features that characterize biological membranes. We show that the Helfrich theory of elasticity of membranes can be applied to phase-field models, allowing to derive the expressions of the stress tensor, lateral stress profile and elastic moduli. We discuss the relevance and interpretations of these magnitudes from a phase-field perspective. Taking the sharp-interface limit we show that the membrane macroscopic equilibrium equation can be derived from the equilibrium condition of the phase-field interface. We also study two dynamic models that describe the behaviour of a membrane. From the study of the relaxational behaviour of the membrane we characterize the relevant dynamics of each model, and discuss their applications.

KEYWORDS:

Soft Matter: Self-organisation and Supramolecular Assemblies

PMID:
28917028
DOI:
10.1140/epje/i2017-11566-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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