European Journal of Applied Mathematics


A continuum model of lipid bilayers

J. G. BLOM a1 and M. A. PELETIER a1
a1 Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica, Amsterdam, The Netherlands email:

Article author query
blom jg   [Google Scholar] 
peletier ma   [Google Scholar] 


We study a one-dimensional continuum model for lipid bilayers. The system consists of water and lipid molecules; lipid molecules are represented by two ‘beads’, a head bead and a tail bead, connected by a rigid rod. We derive a simplified model for such a system, in which we only take into account the effects of entropy and hydrophilic/hydrophobic interactions. We show that for this simple model membrane-like structures exist for certain choices of the parameters, and numerical calculations suggest that they are stable.

(Received October 21 2002)
(Revised November 6 2003)