Charge renormalization of bilayer elastic properties

R Sknepnek and G Vernizzi and MO de la Cruz, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 137, 104905 (2012).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4751481

By combining molecular dynamics simulations and analytical arguments, we investigate the elastic properties of charged lipid bilayers. We show that electrostatic interactions between the head groups can lead to solidification of the lipid bilayer that would otherwise be in a liquid state if the charges were absent. All elastic parameters of the bilayer such as the bending rigidity kappa and the two-dimensional bulk modulus lambda and Young's modulus Y are found to depend on the values of the charges assigned to the lipid head groups. To extract kappa and lambda, we fit the molecular dynamics data to a standard elastic model for lipid bilayers. Moreover, we analytically obtain the dependence of the Young modulus Y on the relative strengths of electrostatic and van der Waals interactions in the zero temperature limit. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics.

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