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A positively charged, mixed bilayer vesicle in the presence of negatively charged surfaces (for example, colloidal particles) can spontaneously partition into an adhesion zone of definite area, and another zone that repels additional negative objects. Although the membrane itself has nonnegative charge in the repulsive zone, negative counterions on the interior of the vesicle spontaneously aggregate there, and present a net negative charge to the exterior. Beyond the fundamental result that oppositely charged objects can repel, our mechanism helps explain recent experiments on surfactant vesicles.
Date Posted: 13 August 2007
This document has been peer reviewed.