Membrane-Mediated Interactions

  • Anne-Florence BitbolEmail author
  • Doru Constantin
  • Jean-Baptiste Fournier


Interactions mediated by the cell membrane between inclusions, such as membrane proteins or antimicrobial peptides, play important roles in their biological activity. They also constitute a fascinating challenge for physicists, since they test the boundaries of our understanding of self-assembled lipid membranes, which are remarkable examples of two-dimensional complex fluids. Inclusions can couple to various degrees of freedom of the membrane, resulting in different types of interactions. In this chapter, we review the membrane-mediated interactions that arise from direct constraints imposed by inclusions on the shape of the membrane. These effects are generic and do not depend on specific chemical interactions. Hence, they can be studied using coarse-grained soft matter descriptions. We deal with long-range membrane-mediated interactions due to the constraints imposed by inclusions on membrane curvature and on its fluctuations. We also discuss the shorter-range interactions that arise from the constraints on membrane thickness imposed by inclusions presenting a hydrophobic mismatch with the membrane.


Lipid bilayer Continuum elasticity Membrane inclusion Hydrophobic matching Membrane-mediated interactions Fluctuation-induced interactions 



A.-F. B. acknowledges support from the Human Frontier Science Program. D. C. and J.-B. F. acknowledge support by ANR Grant MEMINT (2012-BS04-0023).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne-Florence Bitbol
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Doru Constantin
    • 3
  • Jean-Baptiste Fournier
    • 4
  1. 1.Sorbonne UniversitéCNRS, Laboratoire Jean Perrin (UMR 8237)ParisFrance
  2. 2.Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics and Department of PhysicsPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, CNRS, Univ. Paris-SudUniversité Paris-SaclayOrsayFrance
  4. 4.Laboratoire “Matière et Systèmes Complexes” (MSC)UMR 7057 CNRS, Université Paris 7 DiderotParis Cedex 13France

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