Force barriers for membrane tube formation

Gerbrand Koster, Angelo Cacciuto, Imre Derényi, Daan Frenkel, Marileen Dogterom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

106 Citations (Scopus)


We used optical tweezers to measure the force-extension curve for the formation of tubes from giant vesicles. We show that a significant force barrier exists for the formation of tubes, which increases linearly with the radius of the area on which the pulling force is exerted. The tubes form through a first-order transition with accompanying hysteresis. We confirm these results with Monte Carlo simulations and theoretical calculations. Whether membrane tubes can be formed in, for example, biological cells, thus depends on the details of how forces are applied.

Original languageEnglish
Article number068101
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 18 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Koster, G., Cacciuto, A., Derényi, I., Frenkel, D., & Dogterom, M. (2005). Force barriers for membrane tube formation. Physical review letters, 94(6), [068101].