Coarse-grained methods for heterogeneous vesicles with phase-separated domains: Elastic mechanics of shape fluctuations, plate compression, and channel insertion

DA Rower and PJ Atzberger, MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTERS IN SIMULATION, 209, 342-361 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/j.matcom.2023.02.020

We develop coarse-grained particle approaches for studying the elastic mechanics of vesicles with heterogeneous membranes having phase- separated domains. We perform simulations both of passive shape fluctuations and of active systems where vesicles are subjected to compression between two plates or subjected to insertion into narrow channels. Analysis methods are developed for mapping particle configurations to continuum fields with spherical harmonics representations. Heterogeneous vesicles are found to exhibit rich behaviors where the heterogeneity can amplify surface two-point correlations, reduce resistance during compression, and augment vesicle transport times in channels. The developed methods provide general approaches for characterizing the mechanics of coarse-grained heterogeneous systems taking into account the roles of thermal fluctuations, geometry, and phase separation.(c) 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of International Association for Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (IMACS). This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

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