Anchored polymers or macromolecules induce a prefered or spontaneous curvature in the membrane.
For repulsive polymer/membrane interactions,
the membrane curves away from the polymers.
For attractive polymer/membrane interactions, it usually curves towards the polymers.
Membrane curvature is also induced by non-anchored nanoparticles and colloids.
The interactions between membranes and polymers can have rather dramatic effects as recently observed for lipid vesicles in aqueous solutions of two water-soluble polymers, dextran and polyethylene glycol (PEG). Deflation of the vesicles leads to aqueous phase separation within the interior compartments, and the membranes become exposed to several aqueous phases. The overall morphology of the vesicles is then determined by the wetting properties of the membranes. These properties can be characterized by an intrinsic contact angle , which represents a material parameter and can be calculated from the effective contact angles as measured by optical microscopy. As one changes the polymer concentration, the system may undergo a complete-to-partial wetting transition . In addition, deflation-induced phase separation leads to the formation of a large number of stable membrane nanotubes , which reveal spontaneous membrane tensions .
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Spontaneous tubulation of membranes ... - Supporting Information.
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Lipid membranes in contact with aqueous phases of polymer solutions.
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Membrane nanotubes induced by aqueous phase seperation ... - Supporting Information.
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Transition from complete to partial wetting within membrane compartments.
Transition from complete to partial wetting ... - Supporting Information.
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The influence of non-anchored polymers on the curvature of vesicles.
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Adsorption of polymers anchored to membranes.
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Flexible membranes with anchored polymers
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