Wrinkling of a bilayer membrane

A. Concha, J. W. McIver, P. Mellado, D. Clarke, O. Tchernyshyov, R. L. Leheny

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10 Scopus citations


The buckling of elastic bodies is a common phenomenon in the mechanics of solids. Wrinkling of membranes can often be interpreted as buckling under constraints that prohibit large-amplitude deformation. We present a combination of analytic calculations, experiments, and simulations to understand wrinkling patterns generated in a bilayer membrane. The model membrane is composed of a flexible spherical shell that is under tension and that is circumscribed by a stiff, essentially incompressible strip with bending modulus B. When the tension is reduced sufficiently to a value Ï, the strip forms wrinkles with a uniform wavelength found theoretically and experimentally to be λ=2Ï€(Bâ •Ï) 1â •3. Defects in this pattern appear for rapid changes in tension. Comparison between experiment and simulation further shows that, with larger reduction of tension, a second generation of wrinkles with longer wavelength appears only when B is sufficiently small.

Original languageEnglish
Article number016609
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007


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