We present a macroscopic model for the spreading and rupture of a spherical lipid vesicle on a flat, isotropic, hydrophilic surface. Formulas for the free energy of the initial and final states are derived, and the details of spreading pathways are examined. We show that the activation barrier for vesicle rupture is too large to be overcome by thermal fluctuations at room temperature and the final configuration is more likely to consist of a deflated vesicle. In order for the vesicle to rupture into a planar bilayer, it would have to be aided by increased temperature, application of an external force, or preparation of a mixed hydrophilic/ hydrophobic surface.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces