Electromechanical limits of polymersomes

H. Aranda-Espinoza, H. Bermudez, F. S. Bates, D. E. Discher

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Self-assembled membranes of amphiphilic diblock copolymers enable comparisons of cohesiveness with lipid membranes over the range of hydrophobic thicknesses d = 3-15 nm. At zero mechanical tension the breakdown potential Vc for polymersomes with d = 15 nm is 9V, compared to 1V for liposomes with d = 3 nm. Nonetheless, electromechanical stresses at breakdown universally exhibit a V2c dependence, and membrane capacitance shows the expected strong d dependence, conforming to simple thermodynamic models. The viscous nature of the diblock membranes is apparent in the protracted postporation dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number208301
Pages (from-to)208301-1-208301-4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - Nov 12 2001


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