J. Phys. I France
Volume 3, Numéro 8, August 1993
Page(s) 1741 - 1754
DOI: 10.1051/jp1:1993213
J. Phys. I France 3 (1993) 1741-1754

Molecular dynamics simulations of the structure of closed tethered membranes

Irena B. Petsche1 and Gaxy S. Grest2

1  Exxon Engineering Technology Department, Exxon Research and Engineering Company, NJ 07932, Florham Park, U.S.A.
2  Corporate Research Science Laboratories, Exxon Research and Engineering Company, NJ 08801, Annandale, U.S.A.

(Received 5 February 1993, accepted in final form 13 April 1993)

The equilibrium structure of closed self-avoiding tethered vesicles are investigated by molecular dynamics simulations. To allow for local flexibility, the vesicles are constructed by connecting lineax chains of n monomers to form a closed membrane. For all n studied, $0 \le n \le 16$, we find that the membranes remain flat. The height fluctuations $\langle h^2\rangle \sim N^{\zeta}$, where $\zeta$ = 0.55 $\pm$ 0.02 and N is the total number of monomers in the vesicle. This result for $\zeta$ is significantly lower than earlier estimates for open membranes with a free perimeter but is in agreement with recent estimates of Abraham for membranes without a free perimeter. Results for the static structure factor, S(q), are calculated and compared to recent data on red blood cell skeletons.

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