### Abstract

We study the spontaneous symmetry breaking of the bending rigidity of lipid membranes in two principal directions by a Landau mean-field theory. When the temperature is below the tilting temperature [Formula Presented], the coupling between molecular orientation and membrane local curvature square leads to an increase of the bending rigidity in the tilting direction and therefore a spontaneous symmetry breaking in two principal directions. The asymmetry [Formula Presented] of the bending rigidity undergoes a continuous change upon cooling and grows as [Formula Presented] for [Formula Presented] We discuss this anisotropical effect on the tilt structure of the ripple phase [Formula Presented] of a nearly flat membrane and the sphere-to-tubule transition in a dilute solution of lipids. The transition between the spherical vesicle phase and the tubular phase is predicted to be first order.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 6192-6195 |

Number of pages | 4 |

Journal | Physical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics |

Volume | 59 |

Issue number | 5 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 1999 Jan 1 |

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### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Mathematical Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)