Using computer simulations, we show that lipid membranes can mediate linear aggregation of spherical nanoparticles binding to it for a wide range of biologically relevant bending rigidities. This result is in net contrast with the isotropic aggregation of nanoparticles on fluid interfaces or the expected clustering of isotropic insertions in biological membranes. We present a phase diagram indicating where linear aggregation is expected and compute explicitly the free-energy barriers associated with linear and isotropic aggregation. Finally, we provide simple scaling arguments to explain this phenomenology.
Physical Review Letters
- Pub Date:
- March 2012
- Monte Carlo simulations;
- Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter
- Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 118101 (2012)