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Mesoscale studies of ionic closed membranes with polyhedral geometries
C. Y. Leung, L. C. Palmer, B. F. Qiao, S. Kewalramani, R. Sknepnek, C. J. Newcomb, M. A. Greenfield, G. Vernizzi, S. I. Stupp, M. J. Bedzyk, and M. O. de la Cruz, ACS Nano 6(12), 10901 (2012).
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Large crystalline molecular shells buckle spontaneously into icosahedra while multicomponent shells buckle into various polyhedra. Continuum elastic theory explains the buckling of closed shells with one elastic component into icosahedra. A generalized elastic model, on the other hand, describes the spontaneous buckling of inhomogeneous shells into regular and irregular polyhedra. By co-assembling water-insoluble anionic (−1) amphiphiles with cationic (3+) amphiphiles, we realized ionic vesicles. Results revealed that surface crystalline domains and the unusual shell shapes observed arise from the competition of ionic correlations with charge-regulation. We explain here the mechanism by which these ionic membranes generate a mechanically heterogeneous vesicle.
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