Multiscale geometry and mechanics of lipid monolayer collapse

Angelo Rosario Carotenuto, Nhung Nguyen, Kathleen Cao, Anna Gaffney, Alan J. Waring, Ka Yee Ka, David Owen, Massimiliano Fraldi, Luca Deseri, Luka Pocivavsek

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Langmuir monolayers at gas/liquid interfaces provide a rich framework to investigate the interplay between multiscale geometry and mechanics. Monolayer collapse is investigated at a topological and geometric level by building a scale space M from experimental imaging data. We present a general lipid monolayer collapse phase diagram, which shows that wrinkling, folding, crumpling, shear banding, and vesiculation are a continuous set of mechanical states that can be approached by either tuning monolayer composition or temperature. The origin of the different mechanical states can be understood by investigating the monolayer geometry at two scales: fluorescent vs atomic force microscopy imaging. We show that an interesting switch in continuity occurs in passing between the two scales, CAFM∈MAFM≠CFM∈M. Studying the difference between monolayers that fold vs shear band, we show that shear banding is correlated to the persistence of a multi-length scale microstructure within the monolayer at all surface pressures. A detailed analytical geometric formalism to describe this microstructure is developed using the theory of structured deformations. Lastly, we provide the first ever finite element simulation of lipid monolayer collapse utilizing a direct mapping from the experimental image space M into a simulation domain P. We show that elastic dissipation in the form of bielasticity is a necessary and sufficient condition to capture loss of in-plane stability and shear banding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCellular Mechanotransduction Mechanisms in Cardiovascular and Fibrotic Diseases
EditorsYun Fang
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages45
ISBN (Print)9780128215197
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Membranes
ISSN (Print)1063-5823


  • Collapse
  • Continuum mechanics
  • Elasticity
  • Geometry
  • Lipid monolayers
  • Structured deformations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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