Vesicles are physico-chemical objects characterized by a closed boundary that separates their aqueous inside from their aqueous outside. Typical but not unique vesicle boundaries are lipid membranes. During the last few decades, different classes of vesicle shapes have been revealed both experimentally and theoretically. In this presentation it will first be shown which aspects of vesicle shape behavior are independent and which depend on the material properties of vesicle membranes. The second part of the talk will be devoted to the mechanism of the formation of narrow membrane tubes, to the usage of such tubes for the determination of membrane material constants, and to the role of membrane tubes in different cellular processes. Finally, it will be shown that in a population of growing vesicles, vesicle self-reproduction can occur efficiently only for vesicles in which their growth rate is properly related to certain properties of their membranes. The hypothesis will be put forward about a possible role of vesicles in prebiotic evolution that was derived on the basis of their abilities to compartmentalize, to self-replicate in the indicated selective manner, and to increase the complexity of the system by the way of vesicle fusion.
*Kolokvij Instituta Ruđer Bošković