(319h) Influence of Salt on the Separation Mechanics on Droplet Interface Phospholipid Bilayers | AIChE

(319h) Influence of Salt on the Separation Mechanics on Droplet Interface Phospholipid Bilayers

Droplet interface bilayers are a convenient model system to study the physio-chemical properties of phospholipid bilayers, the major component of the cell membrane. The mechanical response of these bilayers to various external mechanical stimuli is an active area of research because of its implications for cellular viability and the development of artificial cells. In this talk, we characterize the influence of salt on the separation mechanics of droplet interface bilayers under step strain using a combination of experiments and numerical modelling. Initially, we subject the system to a step strain by separating the droplets in a step-wise manner at a fixed salt concentration, and track the evolution of the bilayer contact angle and radius. The relaxation time of the bilayer contact angle and radius along with the decay magnitude of the bilayer radius were observed to increase with each separation step. By analyzing the forces acting on the bilayer and the rate of separation, we show that the bilayer separates primarily through the peeling process with the dominant resistance to separation coming from viscous dissipation associated with corner flows. We explain the intrinsic features of the observed bilayer separation by means of a mathematical model comprising the Young–Laplace equation and an evolution equation. Subsequently, we repeat the experiment by changing the salt concentration and report the change in the bilayer separation dynamics focusing on both bilayer decay magnitude and relaxation time. We believe that the reported experimental and numerical results extend the scientific understanding of lipid bilayer mechanics, and that the developed experimental and numerical tools offer a convenient platform to study the mechanics of other types of bilayers.


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