Lipid tubule growth by osmotic pressure

Padmini Rangamani, Di Zhang, George Oster, Amy Q. Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We present here a procedure for growing lipid tubules in vitro. This method allows us to grow tubules of consistent shape and structure, and thus can be a useful tool for nano-engineering applications. There are three stages during the tubule growth process: initiation, elongation and termination. Balancing the forces that act on the tubule head shows that the growth of tubules during the elongation phase depends on the balance between osmotic pressure and the viscous drag exerted on the membrane from the substrate and the external fluid. Using a combination of mathematical modelling and experiment, we identify the key forces that control tubule growth during the elongation phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Issue number88
StatePublished - Nov 6 2013


  • Lipid membranes
  • Lipid tubules
  • Vesicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering


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