Brownian dynamics simulation
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Brownian dynamics simulations were performed to study the contribution of electric interactions between charged membrane components to their lateral distribution in a two-dimensional viscous liquid (bilayer lipid membrane). The electrostatic interaction potential was derived from an analytical solution of the linearized Poisson-Boltzmann equation for point charges in an electrolyte solution — membrane — electrolyte solution system. Equilibrium as well as dynamic quantities were investigated. The lateral organization of membrane particles, modelled by mobile cylinders in a homogeneous membrane separating two electrolyte solutions was described by spatial distribution functions, diffusion coefficients and cluster statistics. Disorder, local order and crystal-like arrangements were observed as a function of the particle charge, the closest possible distances between the charges and the particle density. The simulations revealed that the system is very sensitive to the position of the charges with respect to the electrolyte solution — membrane interface. Electrostatic interactions of charges placed directly on the membrane surface were almost negligible, whereas deeper charges demonstrated pronounced interaction. Biologically relevant parameters corresponded at most to local and transient ordering. It was found that lateral electric forces can give rise to a preferred formation of clusters with an even number of constituents provided that the closest possible charge-charge distances are small. It is concluded that lateral electrostatic interactions can account for local particle aggregations, but their impact on the global arrangement and movement of membrane components is limited.
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