Dissipative particle dynamics simulation of critical pore size in a lipid bilayer membrane

Clark Bowman, Mark Chaplain, Anastasios Matzavinos

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Abstract

We investigate with computer simulations the critical radius of pores in a lipid bilayer membrane. Ilton et al. (Ilton et al. 2016 Phys. Rev. Lett.117, 257801 (doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.257801)) recently showed that nucleated pores in a homopolymer film can increase or decrease in size, depending on whether they are larger or smaller than a critical size which scales linearly with film thickness. Using dissipative particle dynamics, a particle-based simulation method, we investigate the same scenario for a lipid bilayer membrane whose structure is determined by lipid–water interactions. We simulate a perforated membrane in which holes larger than a critical radius grow, while holes smaller than the critical radius close, as in the experiment of Ilton et al. (Ilton et al. 2016 Phys. Rev. Lett.117, 257801 (doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.257801)). By altering key system parameters such as the number of particles per lipid and the periodicity, we also describe scenarios in which pores of any initial size can seal or even remain stable, showing a fundamental difference in the behaviour of lipid membranes from polymer films.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Dissipative particle dynamics
  • Lipid membranes
  • Computational simulation

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