One-particle-thick, solvent-free, coarse-grained model for biological and biomimetic fluid membranes

Hongyan Yuan, Changjin Huang, Ju Li, George Lykotrafitis, Sulin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations

Abstract

Biological membranes are involved in numerous intriguing biophysical and biological cellular phenomena of different length scales, ranging from nanoscale raft formation, vesiculation, to microscale shape transformations. With extended length and time scales as compared to atomistic simulations, solvent-free coarse-grained membrane models have been exploited in mesoscopic membrane simulations. In this study, we present a one-particle-thick fluid membrane model, where each particle represents a cluster of lipid molecules. The model features an anisotropic interparticle pair potential with the interaction strength weighed by the relative particle orientations. With the anisotropic pair potential, particles can robustly self-assemble into fluid membranes with experimentally relevant bending rigidity. Despite its simple mathematical form, the model is highly tunable. Three potential parameters separately and effectively control diffusivity, bending rigidity, and spontaneous curvature of the model membrane. As demonstrated by selected examples, our model can naturally simulate dynamics of phase separation in multicomponent membranes and the topological change of fluid vesicles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011905
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume82
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 12 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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