Shapes of nearly cylindrical, axisymmetric bilayer membranes

B. Božič, V. Heinrich, S. Svetina, B. Žekš

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Shapes of nearly cylindrical sections of axisymmetric phospholipid membranes are studied theoretically. Describing the shape of such sections by their deviation from a reference cylinder, the well-established shape equation for axisymmetric bilayer membranes is expanded in terms of this deviation, and it is then solved analytically. The phase diagram shows the resulting stationary shapes as functions of system parameters and external conditions, i.e., the pressure difference across the membrane, the membrane tension, the difference between the tensions of the two monolayers, and the axial force acting on the vesicle. The accuracy of the approximate analytical solution is demonstrated by comparison with numerical results. The obtained analytical solution allows to extend the analysis to include shapes where numerical methods have failed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-98
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Physical Journal E
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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