The amazing ability of living cells in achieving strict and robust control of their membrane morphologies and functions over different length scales leads to the concept that membrane domains, such as lipid rafts, are the basic organization units of cellular membranes. Yet fundamental understanding of the membrane-mediated inter-domain interaction still remains incomplete. In the present work, we probe inter-domain interactions by performing coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations using a highly coarse-grained implicit-solvent fluid membrane model. Our simulations show that the membrane-mediated inter-domain interaction remains repulsive for the contact angle as large as close to 90°. The repulsive interaction force between curved domains increases with the domain curvature and hinders the further domain coalescence. Our findings have broad implications to various biological phenomena such as lipid raft formation, viral budding, and targeted drug delivery.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering