425496 Electric Field Effects of the Thermal Undulations of Lipid Bilayer Membranes

Monday, November 9, 2015: 4:45 PM
Canyon B (Hilton Salt Lake City Center)
Nico Fricke and Petia M. Vlahovska, School of Engineering, Brown University, Providence, RI

We study the influence of an applied electric field on the physical properties of lipid bilayer membranes. Global and regional analyses of the shape fluctuations of a giant quasi-spherical vesicle (“flicker spectroscopy”) are used to infer membrane  tension, bending rigidity, and shear viscosity from a time series of microscope images. The parameters of the electric field (frequency and amplitude) are chosen such that there is no global vesicle deformation, and hence any renormalization of the tension and bending rigidity arise only from electric stress in the membrane. Using this approach we examine the effect of the electrotension on the main phase transition temperature of lipid membranes, where we observe that increasing field strength decreases, albeit slightly (about 0.1K), the melting temperature

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