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Shock-wave induced damage in lipid bilayers: A dissipative particle dynamics simulation study

: Ganzenmüller, G.C.; Hiermaier, S.; Steinhauser, M.O.


Soft matter 7 (2011), Nr.9, S.4307-4317
ISSN: 1744-683X
ISSN: 1744-6848
Fraunhofer EMI ()

The effects of shock-wave impact on the damage of lipid bilayer membranes are investigated with dissipative particle simulations at constant energy (DPDE). A coarse-grained model for the phospholipid bilayer in aqueous environment is employed, which models single lipids as short chains consisting of a hydrophilic head and two hydrophobic tail beads. Water is modeled by mapping four H2O molecules to one water bead. Using the DPDE method enables us to faithfully simulate the non-equilibrium shock-wave process with a coarse-grained model as the correct heat capacity can be recovered. At equilibrium, we obtain self-stabilizing bilayer structures that exhibit bending stiffness and compression modulus comparable to experimental measurements under physiological conditions. We study in detail the damage behavior of the coarse-grained lipid bilayer upon high-speed shock-wave impact as a function of shock impact velocity and bilayer stability. A single damage parameter based on an orientation dependent correlation function is introduced. We observe that mechanical bilayer stability has only small influence on the resulting damage after shock-wave impact, and inertial effects play almost no role. At shock-front velocities below less than or similar to 3000 ms(-1), we observe reversible damage, whereas for speeds greater than or similar to 3900 ms(-1) no such recovery, or self-repair of the bilayer, could be observed.