A very important part of the living cells of biological systems is the lipid membrane. The mechanical properties of this membrane play an important role in biophysical studies. Investigation as to how the insertion of additional phospholipids in one leaflet of a bilayer affects the physical properties of the obtained asymmetric lipid membrane is of recent practical interest. In this work a coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulation was carried out in order to compute the pressure tensor, the lateral pressure, the surface tension and the first moment of lateral pressure in each leaflet of such a bilayer. Our simulations indicate that adding more phospholipids into one monolayer results in asymmetrical changes in the lateral pressure of the individual bilayer leaflets. Interestingly, it has been observed that a change in phospholipid density in one leaflet affects the physical properties of unperturbed leaflet as well. The asymmetric behavior of the physical properties of the two leaflets as a result of a change in the contribution of the various intermolecular forces in the presence of additional phospholipids may be expressed formally.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 17, 2012
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