Osmotic Shrinkage of Giant Egg-Lecithin Vesicles

  • M. Elwenspoek
  • E. Boroske
  • W. Helfrich
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Series in Chemical Physics book series (CHEMICAL, volume 11)

Abstract

Osmotic shrinkage of giant egg-lecithin vesicles was observed by phase-contrast microscopy. The vesicles remained or became spherical when shrinking. Small and thick-walled vesicles formed visible fingers attached to the sphere. The water permeability of the single bilayer was found to be 41 μm/s. A variety of observations indicate that osmosis induces a parallel lipid flow between the monolayers of the bilayer, leading to a strong positive spontaneous curvature. They also suggest the formation of mostly submicroscopic daughter vesicles. The estimated coupling constant, 2. 10–6 mole/mole, is large enough to be biologically significant.

Keywords

Permeability Shrinkage 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Elwenspoek
    • 1
  • E. Boroske
    • 1
  • W. Helfrich
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Atom- und FestkörperphysikFreie Universität BerlinBerlin 33Germany
  2. 2.Institut für Theorie der Kondensierten MaterieFreie Universität BerlinBerlin 33Germany

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