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Equilibrium equations and stability conditions are derived for a general class of multicomponent biological membranes. The analysis is based on a generalized Helfrich energy that accounts for geometry through the stretch and curvature, the composition, and the interaction between geometry and composition. The use of nonclassical differential operators and(More)
In the mammalian plasma membrane, cholesterol can translocate rapidly between the exoplasmic and cytoplasmic leaves, so that its distribution between them should be given by the equality of its chemical potential in the leaves. Due to its favorable interaction with sphingomyelin, which is almost entirely in the outer leaf, one expects the great majority of(More)
We investigate a model of an asymmetric bilayer consisting of sphigomyelin, phosphatidylcholine, and cholesterol in the outer leaflet, and phosphatidyl-ethanolamine, (PE), phosphatidylserine, and cholesterol in the inner leaflet. Composition fluctuations are coupled to membrane fluctuations via the bending energy which depends upon the local spontaneous(More)
We consider two mechanisms that can lead to an inhomogeneous distribution of components in a multicomponent lipid bilayer: macroscopic phase separation and the formation of modulated phases. A simple model that encompasses both mechanisms displays a phase diagram that also includes a structured fluid, a microemulsion. Identifying rafts with the(More)
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