Kinetics of the Micelle-to-Vesicle Transition

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Kinetics of the Micelle-to-Vesicle Transition

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 21st August 2000
  • Speaker: Jacques Leng (University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

The equilibrium phase behaviour of lipid-bile salt aqueous mixtures has been studied to date mainly in biophysical investigations. A typical phase diagram --- containing micelles, wormlike micelles and vesicles---appears to be governed by the very different monomer solubilities and architectures~[1]. However, usual ('equilibrium') theories fail to predict some main features such as the size of the vesicles as a function of the lipid concentration. This is why it is now believed that this transition is mainly governed by its kinetics.
Recent experimental results~[2] show that the vesicle formation indeed proceeds via at least two stages. By dilution of micellar stock solution, elongated micelles rapidly form disc-like micelles which grow much more slowly and finally form vesicles. We present here some preliminary results of a growth kinetics model and the main parameters---electrostatic interactions, fusion processes, etc.---influencing this regime.
[1] Phase Transitions between Vesicles and Micelles Driven by competing Curvatures, Andelman D., Kozlov M., Helfrich W., Euro. Phys. Lett. 25 (3), 1994, pp. 232.
[2] Micelle-to-Vesicle Transition: A Time-Resolved Structural Study, S. U. Egelhaaf, P. Schurtenberger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, (1999), p. 2804

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

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