Infoscience

Journal article

Elastic and dynamic properties of membrane phase-field models

Phase-field models have been extensively used to study interfacial phenomena, from solidification to vesicle dynamics. In this article, we analyze a phase-field model that captures the relevant physical features that characterize biological membranes. We show that the Helfrich theory of elasticity of membranes can be applied to phase-field models, allowing to derive the expressions of the stress tensor, lateral stress profile and elastic moduli. We discuss the relevance and interpretations of these magnitudes from a phase-field perspective. Taking the sharp-interface limit we show that the membrane macroscopic equilibrium equation can be derived from the equilibrium condition of the phase-field interface. We also study two dynamic models that describe the behaviour of a membrane. From the study of the relaxational behaviour of the membrane we characterize the relevant dynamics of each model, and discuss their applications.

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