Emergence and stability of intermediate open vesicles in disk-to-vesicle transitions
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The transition between two basic structures, a disk and an enclosed vesicle, of a finite membrane is studied by examining the minimum energy path (MEP) connecting these two states. The MEP is constructed using the string method applied to continuum elastic membrane models. The results reveal that, besides the commonly observed disk and vesicle, open vesicles (bowl-shaped vesicles or vesicles with a pore) can become stable or metastable shapes. The emergence, stability, and probability distribution of these open vesicles are analyzed. It is demonstrated that open vesicles can be stabilized by higher-order elastic energies. The estimated probability distribution of the different structures is in good agreement with available experiments.
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