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Published April 18, 2011 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Minimum Energy Path to Membrane Pore Formation and Rupture


We combine dynamic self-consistent field theory with the string method to calculate the minimum energy path to membrane pore formation and rupture. In the regime where nucleation can occur on experimentally relevant time scales, the structure of the critical nucleus is between a solvophilic stalk and a locally thinned membrane. Classical nucleation theory fails to capture these molecular details and significantly overestimates the free energy barrier. Our results suggest that thermally nucleated rupture may be an important factor for the low rupture strains observed in lipid membranes.

Additional Information

© 2011 American Physical Society. Received 12 January 2011; published 18 April 2011. This work was supported by the Joseph J. Jacobs Institute of Molecular Engineering for Medicine and the NSF Center for the Science and Engineering of Materials at Caltech, and by an NIH training grant (to C. L. T.).

Attached Files

Published - Ting2011p13883Phys_Rev_Lett.pdf

Supplemental Material - README.TXT

Supplemental Material - SupplementaryMaterial.pdf

Supplemental Material - SupplementaryMaterial.tex


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