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Controlling the shape and topology of two-component colloidal membranes

Khanraa, A and Jia, LL and Mitchell, NP and Balchunas, A and Pelcovits, RA and Powers, TR and Dogic, Z and Sharma, P (2022) Controlling the shape and topology of two-component colloidal membranes. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119 (32).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2204453119


Changes in the geometry and topology of self-assembled membranes underlie diverse processes across cellular biology and engineering. Similar to lipid bilayers, monolayer colloidal membranes have in-plane fluid-like dynamics and out-of-plane bending elasticity. Their open edges and micrometer-length scale provide a tractable system to study the equilibrium energetics and dynamic pathways of membrane assembly and reconfiguration. Here, we find that doping colloidal membranes with short miscible rods transforms disk-shaped membranes into saddle-shaped surfaces with complex edge structures. The saddle-shaped membranes are well approximated by Enneper's minimal surfaces. Theoretical modeling demonstrates that their formation is driven by increasing the positive Gaussian modulus, which in turn, is controlled by the fraction of short rods. Further coalescence of saddle-shaped surfaces leads to diverse topologically distinct structures, including shapes similar to catenoids, trinoids, fournoids, and higher-order structures. At long timescales, we observe the formation of a system-spanning, sponge-like phase. The unique features of colloidal membranes reveal the topological transformations that accompany coalescence pathways in real time. We enhance the functionality of these membranes by making their shape responsive to external stimuli. Our results demonstrate a pathway toward control of thin elastic sheets' shape and topology-a pathway driven by the emergent elasticity induced by compositional heterogeneity.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Author(s).
Keywords: article; doping; elasticity; miscibility; chemistry; lipid bilayer; membrane; metabolism; normal distribution, Elasticity; Lipid Bilayers; Membranes; Normal Distribution
Department/Centre: Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Centre for Biosystems Science and Engineering
Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2022 05:17
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2022 05:17
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/76588

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