Interfacial behavior of phospholipid monolayers revealed by mesoscopic simulation

YZ Zhu and X Bai and GQ Hu, BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL, 120, 4751-4762 (2021).

DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2021.09.031

A mesoscopic model with molecular resolution is presented for dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) and pal-mitoyl oleoyl phosphatidylcholine (POPC) monolayer simulations at the air-water interface using many-body dissipative particle dynamics (MDPD). The parameterization scheme is rigorously based on reproducing the physical properties of water and alkane and the interfacial property of the phospholipid monolayer by comparison with experimental results. Using much less computing cost, these MDPD simulations yield a similar surface pressure-area isotherm as well as similar pressure-related morphologies as all-atom simulations and experiments. Moreover, the compressibility modulus, order parameter of lipid tails, and thickness of the phospholipid monolayer are quantitatively in line with the all-atom simulations and experiments. This model also captures the sensitive changes in the pressure-area isotherms of mixed DPPC/POPC monolayers with altered mixing ratios, indicating that the model is promising for applications with complex natural phospholipid monolayers. These results demonstrate a significant improvement of quantitative phospholipid monolayer simulations over previous coarse-grained models.

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