Cyclic Activity of an Osmotically Stressed Liposome in a Finite Hypotonic Environment

Ali Imran, Dumitru Popescu, Liviu Movileanu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A lipid vesicle, or simply called a liposome, represents a synthetic compartment for the examination of transmembrane transport and signaling phenomena. Yet, a liposome is always subjected to size and shape fluctuations due to local and global imbalance of internal and external osmotic pressures. Here, we show that an osmotically stressed liposome placed within a hypotonic spherical bath undergoes cyclic dynamics described by a periodic sequence of swelling and relaxation phases. These two phases are interfaced by the appearance of a transient transmembrane pore through which chemical delivery occurs. An analytical model was formulated for the recurrent differential equations that convey the time-dependent swelling phase of a pulsatory liposome during individual cycles. We demonstrate that the time-dependent swelling phases of the last several cycles of a pulsatory liposome are strongly dependent on the size of the external bath. Furthermore, decreasing the size of the hypotonic medium reduces the number of cycles of a pulsatory liposome. Comparisons and contrasts of an infinite hypotonic bath with finite external baths of varying radii are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3659-3666
Number of pages8
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 7 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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