Zipper dynamics of surfactant nanotube Upsilon junctions
Journal article, 2006
We investigate the formation of Y junctions in surfactant nanotubes connecting vesicles. Based on experimental observations of the surfactant flow on the nanotubes, we conclude that a Y junction propagates with a zipperlike mechanism. The surfactants from two nanotube branches undergo 11 mixing at the junction, and spontaneously form the extension of the third nanotube branch. Taking into account the tension driven surfactant flow, we develop a model for the Y junction dynamics that is in quantitative agreement with the experimental data.