Helfrich Repulsion and Dynamical Phase Separation of Multicomponent Lipid Bilayers

  • Marx S
  • Schilling J
  • Sackmann E
 et al. 
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Abstract

Thermal fluctuations of surfactant bilayers in an aqueous solution produce an effective, long-range repulsion that can lead to a continuous unbinding transition. We report on an optical interferometry study of the thermal fluctuations of multicomponent bilayers close to the unbinding transition. We find that, in contrast to the case of single-component bilayers, the thermal fluctuation spectrum of multicomponent bilayers does not agree with a continuous unbinding transition but instead indicates the proximity of an unbinding tricritical point.

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