Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
In This Section

Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C

A Journal of Biosciences

Editor-in-Chief: Seibel, Jürgen

Editorial Board Member: Aigner , Achim / Boland, Wilhelm / Bornscheuer, Uwe / Hoffmann, Klaus

12 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.835

CiteScore 2016: 0.72

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.247
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.369

See all formats and pricing
In This Section
Volume 28, Issue 11-12 (Dec 1973)


Elastic Properties of Lipid Bilayers: Theory and Possible Experiments

W Helfrich
  • Physics Department, F. Hoffmann-La Roche & Co., Ltd
Published Online: 2014-06-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/znc-1973-11-1209


A theory of the elasticity of lipid bilayers is proposed. Three types of strain, i. e. stretching, tilt and curvature, are distinguished and the associated stresses are identified. It is argued that in the case of vesicles (= closed bilayer films) the only elasticity controlling nonspherical shapes is that of curvature. Euler-Lagrange equations are derived for the shape in magnetic fields and under excess outside pressure. It is shown that magnetic fields can deform spherical vesicles into ellipsoids of revolution. Under excess outside pressure the spherical shape becomes unstable at a certain threshold pressure. Both effects can be influenced by a spontaneous curvature of the bilayer. Some possible experiments to determine the elastic properties are also discussed

: Lipid bilayers; elastic properties

About the article

Received: 1973-07-04

Published Online: 2014-06-02

Published in Print: 1973-12-01

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C, ISSN (Online) 1865-7125, ISSN (Print) 0939-5075, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/znc-1973-11-1209. Export Citation

© 1946 – 2014: Verlag der Zeitschrift für Naturforschung. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in