We consider two mechanisms that can lead to an inhomogeneous distribution of components in a multicomponent lipid bilayer: macroscopic phase separation and the formation of modulated phases. A simple model that encompasses both mechanisms displays a phase diagram that also includes a structured fluid, a microemulsion. Identifying rafts with the inhomogeneities of this structured fluid, we see how rafts are related to the occurrence of macroscopic phase separation or the formation of modulated phases in other systems, and focus our attention on specific differences between them.
Microemulsions, modulated phases and macroscopic phase separation: a unified picture of rafts
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Ingela Parmryd, Ha Giang, Roie Shlomovitz, Michael Schick; Microemulsions, modulated phases and macroscopic phase separation: a unified picture of rafts. Essays Biochem 15 February 2015; 57 21–32. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/bse0570021
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