Existence of a flat phase in red cell membrane skeletons.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Biomolecular membranes display rich statistical mechanical behavior. They are classified as liquid in the absence of shear elasticity in the plane of the membrane and tethered (solid) when the neighboring molecules or subunits are connected and the membranes exhibit solid-like elastic behavior in the plane of the membrane. The spectrin skeleton of red blood cells was studied as a model tethered membrane. The static structure factor of the skeletons, measured by small-angle x-ray and light scattering, was fitted with a structure factor predicted with a model calculation. The model describes tethered membrane sheets with free edges in a flat phase, which is a locally rough but globally flat membrane configuration. The fit was good for large scattering vectors. The membrane roughness exponent, zeta, defined through h alpha L zeta, where h is the average amplitude of out-of-plane fluctuations and L is the linear membrane dimension, was determined to be 0.65 +/- 0.10. Computer simulations of model red blood cell skeletons also showed this flat phase. The value for the roughness exponent, which was determined from the scaling properties of membranes of different sizes, was consistent with that from the experiments.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Schmidt, CF; Svoboda, K; Lei, N; Petsche, IB; Berman, LE; Safinya, CR; Grest, GS

Published Date

  • February 1993

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 259 / 5097

Start / End Page

  • 952 - 955

PubMed ID

  • 8438153

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.8438153


  • eng