We investigate the steady states and dynamical instabilities resulting from “particles” depositing on (fusion) and pinching off (fission) a fluid membrane. These particles could be either small lipid vesicles or isolated proteins. In the stable case, such fusion/fission events suppress long wavelength fluctuations of the membrane. In the unstable case, the membrane shoots out long tubular structures reminiscent of endosomal compartments or folded structures which bear a morphological resemblance to internal membranes of the cell.
- Received 11 September 2000
- Published 31 August 2001
© 2001 The American Physical Society