Lipid domain formation in binary/ternary Giant Unilamellar Vesicles

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Lipid domain formation in binary/ternary Giant Unilamellar Vesicles

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 19th February 2007
  • Speaker: Zhijun Zhao (University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

Lipids are amphiphilic molecules which form the main constituents of living organism membranes. In aqueous solution, they self-assemble into bilayer structures such as Giant Unilamellar Vesicles(GUVs).I study GUVs of binary and ternary lipid mixtures, specially DLPC/DPPC and DLPC/DPPC/Cholesterol system. In two phase coexistence region, these lipid mixtures will lateral-phase separate to create patterns of domains. By preferentially partition of different fluorescent probes for different phases, I can use Confocal Fluorescence Microscopy to visualize the domains and study their formation and evolution. This will help us to understand the formation of lateral segregation regions called 'lipid rafts' in cell membrane,thus gain insight into the biophysics of cell membranes, as well as the basic physics problem of solid-liquid phase separation in quasi 2D system.

In my talk I will focus on the question: what determines domains configuaration? Effects of phases, line tension, kinetics and impurities (cholesterol) will be discussed. Welcome!

About Condensed Matter lunchtime seminars

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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