For researchers working at the interface of biophysics and cell biology, cell membranes have attracting increasing attention. These membranes don’t just define the boundaries of the cell and its compartments; their role is crucial in a range of processes such as adhesion, signaling, and recognition, which utilise the properties of the two-dimensional membrane matrix.
One important central parameter for understanding the functionality of the cellular membrane is fluidity. Classically, this has been ascribed to the lipid matrix, which facilitates the translational and rotational motion of the membrane constituents. However, recent research has revealed a variety of ingredients that modulate the molecular movements in the membrane. Different lipid environments, membrane topology, the underlying membrane skeleton, the presence of protein-based interaction sites, and the crowded environment determine the local fluidity within the lipid bilayer.
In a special issue being published by JPhysD on molecular movements in biomembranes, a collection of original articles and reviews attempt to capture state of the art research on these molecular movements. There aim of the issue is to to balance experimental and theoretical work dealing with both model membrane systems and live cell membranes.
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Categories: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics