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Journal Article

Measuring Gaussian rigidity using curved substrates


Fonda,  Piermarco
Reinhard Lipowsky, Theorie & Bio-Systeme, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Fonda, P., Al-Izzi, S. C., Giomi, L., & Turner, M. (2020). Measuring Gaussian rigidity using curved substrates. Physical Review Letters, 125(18): 188002. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.188002.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-7679-E
The Gaussian (saddle splay) rigidity of fluid membranes controls their equilibrium topology but is notoriously difficult to measure. In lipid mixtures, typical of living cells, linear interfaces separate liquid ordered (LO) from liquid disordered (LD) bilayer phases at subcritical temperatures. Here, we consider such membranes supported by curved substrates that thereby control the membrane curvatures. We show how spectral analysis of the fluctuations of the LO-LD interface provides a novel way of measuring the difference in Gaussian rigidity between the two phases. We provide a number of conditions for such interface fluctuations to be both experimentally measurable and sufficiently sensitive to the value of the Gaussian rigidity, while remaining in the perturbative regime of our analysis.