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Elastic free energy of anisotropic helical ribbons as metastable intermediates in the crystallization of cholesterol.

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PMC
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  • Mathematics
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Abstract

We report measurements of the geometrical structure and temporal evolution of metastable helical intermediates in the pathway for cholesterol crystallization in native and model biles. We find that the lecithin component in the bile can dramatically affect the kinetics along this pathway. We also present a theoretical description of these helical intermediates using an elastic free energy appropriate for anisotropic bilayers of tilted chiral amphiphiles, which provides a quantitative description of the observed helical ribbon geometry and insight into the relative free energies of the observed metastable intermediates.

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