Curvature-driven positioning of Turing patterns in phase-separating curved membranes

Andrew Goryachev, Giulio Vandin, Davide Marenduzzo, Enzo Orlandini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce a new finite difference scheme to study the dynamics of Turing patterns of a two-species activator–inhibitor system embedded on a phase-separating curved membrane, modelling for instance a lipid bilayer. We show that the underlying binary fluid can strongly affect both the dynamical and the steady state properties of the ensuing Turing patterns. Furthermore, geometry plays a key role, as a large enough local membrane curvature can both arrest the coarsening of the lipid domains and position the patterns selectively at areas of high or small local curvature. The physical phenomena we observe are due to a minimal coupling, between the diffusivity of the Turing components and the local membrane composition. While our study is theoretical in nature, it can provide a framework within which to address intracellular pattern formation in systems of interacting membrane proteins.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSoft Matter
Early online date21 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2016

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