Fanani ML and Wilke N-BBAbiomem 2018
Demixing of components has long been described in model membranes. It is a consequence of non-ideal lateral interactions between membrane components, and it causes the presence of segregated phases, forming patches (domains) of different properties, thus introducing heterogeneity into the membrane. In the present review we first describe the processes through which domains are generated, how they grow, and why they are rounded, striped or fractal-like, as well as why they get distributed forming defined patterns. Next, we focus on the effect of an additive on a lipid mixture, which usually induces shifts in demixing points, thus stabilizing or destabilizing the phase-segregated state. Results found for different model membranes are summarized, detailing the ways in which phase segregation and the generated patterns may be modulated. We focus on which are, from our viewpoint, the most relevant regulating factors affecting the surface texture observed in model membranes. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Emergence of Complex Behavior in Biomembranes edited by Marjorie Longo.