The mechanics of the cell interface studied by supported lipid bilayers
Fluids and Materials Seminar
15th February 2018, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Main Maths Building, SM3
The cell membrane undergoes complex morphological and surface area transformations while being confined to an underlying actin cortex, the membranes of neighboring cells or other extracellular structures. To understand the role of confinement in the membrane processes we adhere synthetic lipid bilayers to artificial substrates and subject them to perturbations that are common to the cell membrane - 1) substrate area changes, or 2) intake of extra lipids. Our results show that confined lipid bilayers regulate the arising changes in their lipid density either by the expulsion and absorption of lipid protrusions, such as tubes and vesicles, or by sliding over the substrate. Similar processes have been recently confirmed in living cells. We provide a theoretical framework that rationalizes the membrane behavior in terms of the membrane elasticity, and the adhesion and hydrodynamic interactions between the membrane and the substrate.