In this paper, the dynamics of spontaneous shape fluctuations of a single, giant quasi-spherical vesicle formed from a single lipid species is revisited theoretically. A coherent physical theory for the dynamics is developed based on a number of fundamental principles and considerations, and a systematic formulation of the theory is also established. From-the systematic theoretical formulation, an analytical description of the dynamics of shape fluctuations of quasi-spherical vesicles is derived. In particular, in developing the theory we have made a new interpretation of some of the phenomenological constants in a canonical continuum description of fluid lipid-bilayer membranes and shown the consequences of this new interpretation in terms of the characteristics of the dynamics of vesicle shape fluctuations. Moreover, we have used the systematic formulation of our theory as a framework against which we have discussed the previously existing theories and their discrepancies. Finally, we have made a systematic prediction about the system-dependent characteristics of the relaxation dynamics of shape fluctuations of quasi-spherical vesicles with a view of experimental studies of the phenomenon and also discussed, based on our theory, a recently published experimental work on the topic.
European Physical Journal E: Soft Matter and Biological Physics, 2002, Vol 9, Issue 2, p. 143-60