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J Comput Chem. 2010 Apr 30;31(6):1117-25. doi: 10.1002/jcc.21396.

A new force field for simulating phosphatidylcholine bilayers.

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The University of Queensland, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, Brisbane QLD 4072, Australia.


A new force field for the simulation of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) in the liquid-crystalline, fluid phase at zero surface tension is presented. The structure of the bilayer with the area per lipid (0.629 nm(2); experiment 0.629-0.64 nm(2)), the volume per lipid (1.226 nm(3); experiment 1.229-1.232 nm(3)), and the ordering of the palmitoyl chains (order parameters) are all in very good agreement with experiment. Experimental electron density profiles are well reproduced in particular with regard to the penetration of water into the bilayer. The force field was further validated by simulating the spontaneous assembly of DPPC into a bilayer in water. Notably, the timescale on which membrane sealing was observed using this model appears closer to the timescales for membrane resealing suggested by electroporation experiments than previous simulations using existing models.

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