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Statistical Analysis of Bending Rigidity Coefficient Determined Using Fluorescence-Based Flicker-Noise Spectroscopy

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Bending rigidity coefficient describes propensity of a lipid bilayer to deform. In order to measure the parameter experimentally using flickering noise spectroscopy, the microscopic imaging is required, which necessitates the application of giant unilamellar vesicles (GUV) lipid bilayer model. The major difficulty associated with the application of the model is the statistical character of GUV population with respect to their size and the homogeneity of lipid bilayer composition, if a mixture of lipids is used. In the paper, the bending rigidity coefficient was measured using the fluorescence-enhanced flicker-noise spectroscopy. In the paper, the bending rigidity coefficient was determined for large populations of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine and 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine vesicles. The quantity of obtained experimental data allows to perform statistical analysis aiming at the identification of the distribution, which is the most appropriate for the calculation of the value of the membrane bending rigidity coefficient. It has been demonstrated that the bending rigidity coefficient is characterized by an asymmetrical distribution, which is well approximated with the gamma distribution. Since there are no biophysical reasons for that we propose to use the difference between normal and gamma fits as a measure of the homogeneity of vesicle population. In addition, the effect of a fluorescent label and types of instrumental setups on determined values has been tested. Obtained results show that the value of the bending rigidity coefficient does not depend on the type of a fluorescent label nor on the type of microscope used.

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This work was supported by the statutory found of Department of Biomedical Engineering, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, a Grant POIR.04.01.04-00-0050/15 to MP and ML by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBiR) and Grant 2016/21/N/NZ1/02767 to DD by the National Science Centre. We would like to acknowledge the great contribution of reviewers to the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Joanna Doskocz.

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Doskocz, J., Drabik, D., Chodaczek, G. et al. Statistical Analysis of Bending Rigidity Coefficient Determined Using Fluorescence-Based Flicker-Noise Spectroscopy. J Membrane Biol 251, 601–608 (2018).

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