Effects of deformability and thermal motion of lipid membrane on electroporation: By molecular dynamics simulations

Sheng Sun, Guangyao Yin, Yi-Kuen Lee, Joseph T.Y. Wong, Tong-Yi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Effects of mechanical properties and thermal motion of POPE lipid membrane on electroporation were studied by molecular dynamics simulations. Among simulations in which specific atoms of lipids were artificially constrained at their equilibrium positions using a spring with force constant of 2.0kcal/(molÅ2) in the external electric field of 1.4kcal/(molÅe), only constraint on lateral motions of lipid tails prohibited electroporation while non-tail parts had little effects. When force constant decreased to 0.2kcal/(molÅ2) in the position constraints on lipid tails in the external electric field of 2.0kcal/(molÅe), water molecules began to enter the membrane. Position constraints of lipid tails allow water to penetrate from both sides of membrane. Thermal motion of lipids can induce initial defects in the hydrophobic core of membrane, which are favorable nucleation sites for electroporation. Simulations at different temperatures revealed that as the temperature increases, the time taken to the initial pore formation will decrease. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)684-688
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): SA-C0040/UK-C0016
Acknowledgements: The work was partially supported by a Research Project Competition Grant, RPC06/07.SC10, from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and partially supported by a grant from KAUST (Award No. SA-C0040/UK-C0016). S. Sun and Y.G. Yin were partially supported by the Bioengineering Graduate Program of HKUST.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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