Journal of Computer-Aided Materials Design

, Volume 14, Supplement 1, pp 103–109 | Cite as

Membrane fluctuations around inclusions



The free energy of inserting a protein into a membrane is determined by considering the variation in the spectrum of thermal fluctuations in response to the presence of a rigid inclusion. Both numerically and through a simple analytical approximation, we find that the primary effect of fluctuations is to reduce the effective surface tension, hampering the insertion at low surface tension. Our results, which should also be relevant for membrane pores, suggest (in contrast to classical nucleation theory) that a finite surface tension is necessary to facilitate the opening of a pore.


Membranes Proteins Thermal fluctuations Surface tension 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical EngineeringBen Gurion UniversityBe’er ShevaIsrael

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