Visualizing the Shapes Adopted by Fluid Membrances and Vesicles

M.I.G. Bloor and M.J. Wilson (UK)


fluid membranes, vesicles, lipid bilayers, visualisation, par tial differential equations


This paper describes method for the parameterization of the shapes adopted by fluid membranes and vesicles. The method is based upon a boundary-value approach to geom etry description in which smooth surfaces are produced as the solution to an elliptic partial differential equations. Shape parameters are introduced through the boundary conditions, which control the shape of the vesicle mod els. In combination with a model for the surface energy and a method for numerical minimization, it is shown how the method can accurately approximate the shapes of both axisymmetric and nonaxisymmetric vesicles over a wide range of control parameters.

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