Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities

© 1999 Robert A. Freitas Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Robert A. Freitas Jr., Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities, Landes Bioscience, Georgetown, TX, 1999 Plasma Membrane Bending Elasticity

The bending stiffness (bending modulus) of the red cell plasma membrane at room temperature is B ~ 1.8 x 10-19 Nm.371,1203,1411,3171 The energy required to bend the plasma membrane into a hemispherical cap is ~4 p B ~ 2300 zJ.1203 A nanorobot footpad of size Lfoot that exerts a backward force F ~ 10 pN against the plasma membrane may cause the membrane surface behind the footpad to fold into a ripple with radius of curvature rcurve ~ B / F ~ 20 nm. The dynamic resistance to RBC plasma membrane folding appears to be limited by viscous dissipation in the cytoplasmic and external fluid phases.3171 The plasma membrane has only a very weak resistance to bending.


Last updated on 21 February 2003