טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentKatz Shimrit
SubjectThe Spatial Organization of a Two-Component Lipid Bilayer
with Imposed Geometry
DepartmentDepartment of Mechanical Engineering
Supervisor Professor Josef Givli
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

The cellular membrane is a dynamic structure in the sense that it can acquire a variety of shapes and compositions, thus defining the characteristic morphology of the cell surface and of intracellular organelles. Phase separation of membrane components such as proteins, lipids, and cholesterols, i.e. the formation of aggregates on cell membrane is also an important process that determines cell behavior. Membranes formed from multiple lipid components can laterally separate into coexisting liquid phases, or domains, with distinct compositions. It has been found experimentally, that the two aforementioned phenomena may be closely related in living cells. There, the membrane deforms by protrusions, and this deformed region possesses a significantly different composition compared to flat regions.

In our study we developed a mathematical model and a numerical solver that systematically enables the understanding of the biological heterogenic membrane, composed of two lipid phases with different mechanical characteristics. We compared our results with the experimental results in the work of Parthasarathy, Yu and Groves published in 2006. We reproduced experimental results and performed a range of related simulations. These simulations provide important insights and motivate new experiments.