Biomembrane Research: Unleashing New Possibilities with Lipid Membrane Bicelles

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March 2023. Exciting news! Our team has just published a manuscript on lipid membrane bicelles, a cutting-edge setup that unlocks a range of new possibilities for lipid bilayer research using MD simulations. With bicelles, we’re able to achieve similar structural, dynamical, and mechanical properties as for infinite periodic lipid membranes, while also studying asymmetric bilayer systems and the unperturbed formation of local spontaneous curvature in molecular dynamics simulations. Our results reveal some fascinating insights:

  • Lipid shape plays a more significant role in membrane stress than lipid area, resulting in substantial torque in membrane simulations.
  • Both leaflets of plasma membrane models have an inherent negative curvature.
  • Our model shows a 28% increase in cholesterol density within the extracellular leaflet of plasma membrane.
  • Bicelles allow for the unbiased determination of membrane elasticity.
  • Check out our manuscript for the full story!
    Matthias Pöhnl, Christoph Kluge and Rainer A. Böckmann. Lipid bicelles in the study of biomembrane characteristics. J. Chem. Theory Comput. (accepted, 2023) [link] [bioRxiv]

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