Jean Wolff, Shigeyuki Komura, and David Andelman
Physical Review E 94, 032406 (2016)
We propose a model that accounts for the budding transition of asymmetric two-component lipid domains, where the two monolayers (leaflets) have different average compositions controlled by independent chemical potentials. Assuming a coupling between the local curvature and local lipid composition in each of the leaflets, we discuss the morphology and thermodynamic behavior of asymmetric lipid domains. The membrane free-energy contains three contributions: the bending energy, the line tension, and a Landau free-energy for a lateral phase separation. Within a mean-field treatment, we obtain various phase diagrams containing fully budded, dimpled, and flat states as a function of the two leaflet compositions. The global phase behavior is analyzed, and depending on system parameters, the phase diagrams include one-phase, two-phase, and three-phase regions. In particular, we predict various phase coexistence regions between different morphologies of domains, which may be observed in multicomponent membranes or vesicles.