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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2004 Apr;14(2):217-24.

Recent advances in the development and application of implicit solvent models in biomolecule simulations.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1319, USA.


Advances have recently been made in the development of implicit solvent methodologies and their application to the modeling of biomolecules, particularly with regard to generalized Born approaches, dielectric screening function formulations and models based on solvent-accessible surface areas. Interesting new developments include more refined non-polar solvation energy estimators, and implicit methods for modeling low-dielectric and heterogeneous environments such as membrane systems. These have been successfully applied to molecular dynamics simulations, the scoring of protein conformations, and the calculation of binding affinities and folding free energy landscapes.

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