Vol. 4, No. 1, 2016

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ISSN: 2325-3444 (e-only)
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Electromechanics of polarized lipid bilayers

David J. Steigmann and Ashutosh Agrawal

Vol. 4 (2016), No. 1, 31–54

A model for the electromechanics of lipid bilayers, accounting for flexoelectricity, is obtained as the thin-film limit of the continuum electrodynamics of nematic liquid crystals. A priori restrictions on the polarization field consistent with minimum energy considerations effectively decouple the leading-order membrane problem from the computation of the self field, yielding a substantial simplification vis a vis the three-dimensional theory. Examples illustrate the strong interplay between the electric field and membrane geometry.

electromechanics, lipid membranes
Mathematical Subject Classification 2010
Primary: 74P10
Received: 19 June 2015
Revised: 13 November 2015
Accepted: 14 December 2015
Published: 11 March 2016

Communicated by Francesco dell'Isola
David J. Steigmann
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of California
6189 Etcheverry Hall No. 1740
Berkeley, CA 94720-1740
United States
Ashutosh Agrawal
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Houston
Houston, TX 77204
United States