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The physics of active membranes

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Publisher
Elsevier Science
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Physics
Disciplines
  • Biology

Abstract

We review recent work on the physical properties of model fluid membranes in nonequilibrium situations resembling those encountered in the living cell and contrast their properties with those of the more familiar membranes at thermal equilibrium. We survey models for the effect of (i) active pumps and (ii) active fission–fusion processes encountered in intracellular trafficking on the stability and fluctuations of fluid membranes. Our purpose is twofold: to highlight the exciting nonequilibrium phenomena that arise in biological systems, and to show how some crucial features of living systems, namely dissipative energy uptake and directed motion, can fruitfully be incorporated into physical models of biological interest.

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