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Thermodynamic Approach to Phase Coexistence in Ternary Phospholipid-Cholesterol Mixtures

Wolff, J.; Marques, C.M.; Thalmann, F.

Saturday 25 April 2020, by mcube

We introduce a simple and predictive model for determining the phase stability of ternary phospholipid-cholesterol mixtures. Assuming that competition between the liquid and gel order of the phospholipids is the main driving force behind lipid segregation, we derive a Gibbs free energy of mixing, based on the thermodynamic properties of the lipids main transition. A numerical approach was devised that enables the fast and efficient determination of the ternary diagrams associated with our Gibbs free energy. The computed phase coexistence diagram of DOPC/DPPC/cholesterol reproduces well-known features for this system at 10 degrees C, as well as its evolution with temperature.