Interaction of conical membrane inclusions: Effect of lateral tension

T. R. Weikl*, M. M. Kozlov, W. Helfrich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Considering two rigid conical inclusions embedded in a membrane subject to lateral tension, we study the membrane-mediated interaction between these inclusions that originates from the hat-shaped membrane deformations associated with the cones. At nonvanishing lateral tensions, the interaction is found to depend on the orientation of the cones with respect to the membrane plane. The interaction of inclusions of equal orientation is repulsive at all distances between them, while the inclusions of opposite orientation repel each other at small separations, but attract each other at larger ones. Both the repulsive and attractive forces become stronger with increasing lateral tension. This is different from what has been predicted on the basis of the same static model for the case of vanishing lateral tension. Without tension, the inclusions repel each other at all distances independently of their relative orientation. We conclude that lateral tension may induce the aggregation of conical membrane inclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6988-6995
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998


Dive into the research topics of 'Interaction of conical membrane inclusions: Effect of lateral tension'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this