Toward a mathematical model of the assembly and disassembly of membrane microdomains: Comparison with experimental models

G. Richardson, L. J. Cummings, H. J. Harris, P. O'Shea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

We study a model system in which lipid bilayers are created using variable (precisely known) proportions of phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol. The model membranes exhibit cholesterol-enriched microdomains that are analogous to the socalled "lipid rafts" that form in living cells. After briefly presenting some experimental results, we formulate and solve a novel mathematical model based on the Smoluchowski equations for coagulation and fragmentation. We present a comparison between the distribution of lipid-raft areas observed in experimental lipid bilayers, and that distribution predicted by the theoretical model. Excellent agreement between the experiments and theory is obtained, with minimal parameter fitting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4145-4156
Number of pages12
JournalBiophysical Journal
Volume92
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics

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