Institute for Medicine and Engineering Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

November 2001


Copyright 2001 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. Reprinted in Physical Review Letters, Volume 87, Issue 20, November 2001.
Publisher URL:


Self-assembled membranes of amphiphilic diblock copolymers enable comparisons of cohesiveness with lipid membranes over the range of hydrophobic thicknesses d = 3-15 nm. At zero mechanical tension the breakdown potential Vc for polymersomes with d = 15 nm is 9 V, compared to 1 V for liposomes with d = 3 nm. Nonetheless, electromechanical stresses at breakdown universally exhibit a V2 c dependence, and membrane capacitance shows the expected strong d dependence, conforming to simple thermodynamic models. The viscous nature of the diblock membranes is apparent in the protracted postporation dynamics.



Date Posted: 27 July 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.