Vesicle Geometries Enabled by Dynamically Trapped States

Jiaye Su, Zhenwei Yao, Monica Olvera De La Cruz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Understanding and controlling vesicle shapes is a fundamental challenge in biophysics and materials design. In this paper, we design dynamic protocols for enlarging the shape space of both fluid and crystalline vesicles beyond the equilibrium zone. By removing water from within the vesicle at different rates, we numerically produced a series of dynamically trapped stable vesicle shapes for both fluid and crystalline vesicles in a highly controllable fashion. In crystalline vesicles that are continuously dehydrated, simulations show the initial appearance of small flat areas over the surface of the vesicles that ultimately merge to form fewer flat faces. In this way, the vesicles transform from a fullerene-like shape into various faceted polyhedrons. We perform analytical elasticity analysis to show that these salient features are attributable to the crystalline nature of the vesicle. The potential to use dynamic protocols, such as those used in this study, to engineer vesicle shape transformations is helpful for exploiting the richness of vesicle geometries for desired applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2287-2294
Number of pages8
JournalACS nano
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 23 2016


  • dynamic protocol
  • molecular dynamics
  • polyhedron
  • shapes
  • vesicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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