I was reading about ripple phase in bilayer lipid membranes which is described here as a meta-stable state between lamellar tilted crystalline and lamellar fluid state. It is also known that ripple phase exists just below the phase transition temperature $T_m$. The figure below is from this article.

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I have 2 questions here:

1) Is ripple phase a stationary structure or does it propagate in space as a travelling wave? (Since they have crystalline structures inbuilt will the fluidy defect propagate?)

2) Secondly and more importantly will ripple phase gets exhibited above transition temperature $T_m$ if the lipid interacts with some molecules like protein etc?


What can be the possible biological significance of Ripple phase in membranes? Will formation of ripple in membrane initiate any relevant processes, since membrane curvature itself is changing? I will be really helpful for any resources related to this.

I am citing an experimental biological work related to Hsp12 protein interaction with DMPG membrane in yeast which reports ripple phenomenon well above the usual transition temperature. Paper here.

NOTE: I was initially confused about whether to post this in biology.SE or physics.SE. I got more tags here. So posting it here.

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    $\begingroup$ Mmmm odd. Anyway, this post is indeed Bio, physics and also chemistry related. What I would do is go to the respective sites, enter their chat and ask if it's on topic there. Cross posting is not OK, so I'd reckon if Physics accepts it, I can either migrate or you can repost and delete it here. Physical might be your best bet, but Chemistry might as well. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jan 9 '18 at 7:58
  • $\begingroup$ @AliceD I have modified the question a little bit and given a bounty. Do you want to have a look now? $\endgroup$ – dexterdev Mar 20 '18 at 15:53

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