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APS/123-QED Relaxation dynamics of fluid membranes

Summary: APS/123-QED
Relaxation dynamics of fluid membranes
Marino Arroyo
Dept. Applied Mathematics 3, LaC`aN, Universitat Polit`ecnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona 08034, Spain
Antonio DeSimone
SISSA-International School for Advanced Studies, Via Beirut 2-4, 34014 Trieste, Italy
(Dated: February 18, 2009)
We study the effect of membrane viscosity in the dynamics of liquid membranes­possibly with
free or internal boundaries­ driven by conservative forces (curvature elasticity and line tension) and
dragged by the bulk dissipation of the ambient fluid and the friction occurring when the amphiphilic
molecules move relative to each other. To this end, we formulate a continuum model which includes
a new form of the governing equations for a two-dimensional viscous fluid moving on a curved,
time-evolving surface. The effect of membrane viscosity has received very limited attention in
previous continuum studies of the dynamics of fluid membranes, although recent coarse-grained
discrete simulations suggest its importance. By applying our model to the study of vesiculation and
membrane fusion in a simplified geometry, we conclude that membrane viscosity plays a dominant
role in the relaxation dynamics of fluid membranes of sizes comparable to those found in eukaryotic
cells, and is not negligible in many large synthetic systems of current interest.
PACS numbers: 87.16.D-,87.16.A-,87.16.dm,61.20.Lc


Source: Arroyo, Marino - Departament de Matemàtica Aplicada III, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya


Collections: Engineering; Materials Science