This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. Primary support for the subproject and the subproject's principal investigator may have been provided by other sources, including other NIH sources. The Total Cost listed for the subproject likely represents the estimated amount of Center infrastructure utilized by the subproject, not direct funding provided by the NCRR grant to the subproject or subproject staff. Biological membranes are structures composed of multiple lipid species and proteins. The lipids are bound only through hydrophobic interactions, creating a liquid-like structure. The plasma membrane, a lipid bilayer membrane surrounding all mammalian cells, is not homogeneous, but rather contains domains termed rafts, defined as regions enriched with cholesterol and saturated lipids. Understanding how and why these rafts form is of great importance to cell biologists and immunologists, since they are involved in many important cell functions and processes including endocytosis, cell adhesion, signaling, protein organization, lipid regulation, and infection by pathogens. These raft structures also show great potential for technological applications, especially in connection with biosensors and drug delivery systems. We examine phase separation (lipid raft formation) and morphological evolution of multicomponent lipid bilayer membranes. The model applies to membranes with planar and spherical background geometries, simulating a nearly planar portion of a membrane or an entire vesicle, respectively. The model treats the individual composition of each bilayer leaflet, which determines the spontaneous curvature. The compositions and shape of the membrane are coupled with a modified Helfrich free energy, which includes coupling between the leaflets compositions. The compositional evolution is modeled using a phase-field method and is described by a Cahn-Hilliard-type equation, while the shape changes are described by relaxation dynamics. For nearly planar bilayer systems we construct a phase diagram of equilibrium morphological phases in the composition space for a few values of the strength of the leaflet coupling. For vesicles modeled using a spherical background, our investigations have focused on how the dynamics are affected by spontaneous curvature effects.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Type
Biotechnology Resource Grants (P41)
Project #
3P41RR006009-20S1
Application #
8364309
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BCMB-Q (40))
Project Start
2011-09-15
Project End
2013-07-31
Budget Start
2011-09-15
Budget End
2013-07-31
Support Year
20
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$1,094
Indirect Cost
Name
Carnegie-Mellon University
Department
Biostatistics & Other Math Sci
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
052184116
City
Pittsburgh
State
PA
Country
United States
Zip Code
15213
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