Lipid membrane deformation in response to a local pH modification: Theory and experiments

Anne Florence Bitbol, Nicolas Puff, Yuka Sakuma, Masayuki Imai, Jean Baptiste Fournier, Miglena I. Angelova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


We study the deformation of a lipid membrane in response to a local pH modification. Experimentally, a basic solution is microinjected close to a giant unilamellar vesicle. A local deformation appears in the zone of the membrane that is closest to the micropipette, and relaxes when the injection is stopped. A theoretical description of this phenomenon is provided. It fully takes into account the spatiotemporal evolution of the concentration of hydroxide ions during and after the microinjection, as well as the linear dynamics of the membrane. This description applies to a local injection of any substance that reacts reversibly with the membrane lipids. We compare experimental data obtained in the domain of small deformations to the results of our linear description, and we obtain a good agreement between theory and experiments. In addition, we present direct experimental observations of the pH profile on the membrane during and after the microinjection, using pH-sensitive fluorescent lipids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6073-6082
Number of pages10
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun 14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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