Active Fusion and Fission Processes on a Fluid Membrane

Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 128101 – Published 31 August 2001
Madan Rao and Sarasij R. C.


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

Authors & Affiliations

Madan Rao1,2,* and Sarasij R. C.1,†

  • 1Raman Research Institute, C.V. Raman Avenue, Sadashivanagar, Bangalore 560080, India
  • 2National Centre for Biological Sciences, UAS-GKVK Campus, Bellary Road, Bangalore 560065, India

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