We use a coarse-grained molecular model of supported lipid bilayers to study the formation of adhesion domains. We find that this process is a first order phase transition, triggered by a combination of pairwise short range attractive interactions between the adhesion bonds and many-body Casimir-like interactions, mediated by the membrane thermal undulations. The simulation results display an excellent agreement with the recently proposed Weil-Farago two-dimensional lattice model, in which the occupied and empty sites represent, respectively, the adhesion bonds and unbound segments of the membrane. A second phase transition, into a hexatic phase, is observed when the attraction between the adhesion bonds is further strengthened.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry