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research-article

Mechanics of irradiation induced structural changes in a lipid vesicle

[+] Author and Article Information
Xinyu Liao

Graduate Group in Applied Mathematics and Computational Science, University of Pennsylavania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
xinyul@sas.upenn.edu

Prashant K Purohit

Graduate Group in Applied Mathematics and Computational Science, University of Pennsylavania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
purohit@seas.upenn.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042429 History: Received October 15, 2018; Revised December 23, 2018

Abstract

Irradiation induced oxidation of lipid membranes is implicated in diseases and has been harnessed in medical treatments. Irradiation induces the formation of oxidative free radicals which attack double-bonds in the hydrocarbon chains of lipids. Studies of the kinetics of this reaction suggest that the result of the first stage of oxidation is a structural change in the lipid that causes an increase in the area per molecule in a vesicle. Since area changes are directly connected to membrane tension, irradiation induced oxidation affects the mechanical behavior of a vesicle. Here we analyze shape changes of axisymmetric vesicles that are under simultaneous influence of adhesion, micropipette aspiration and irradiation. We study both the equilibrium and kinetics of shape changes and compare our results with experiments. The tension-area relation of a membrane which is derived by accounting for thermal fluctuations plays an important role in our analysis. Our model is an example of the coupling of mechanics and chemistry which is ubiquitous in biology.

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