Macroion-Induced Compositional Instability of Binary Fluid Membranes

Sylvio May, Daniel Harries, Avinoam Ben-Shaul

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Macroion adsorption on a mixed, fluid, lipid membrane containing oppositely charged lipids induces local changes in lipid composition at the interaction zones, and gradients at their boundaries. Including these effects in the free energy of the macroion-dressed membrane we derive its spinodal equation, and show that nonideal lipid mixing can lead to (lipid-mediated) attraction between macroions and lateral phase separation in the composite membrane. The critical nonideality for this transition is substantially smaller than that of the bare lipid membrane, decreasing with macroion size and charge. That is, the lipid membrane is destabilized by macroion adsorption.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number26
StatePublished - 2002


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