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PLoS One. 2014 Mar 20;9(3):e92461. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092461. eCollection 2014.

Organization of lipids in the tear film: a molecular-level view.

Author information

1
Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Instrumentation, Wroclaw University of Technology, Wroclaw, Poland.
2
J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i., Prague, Czech Republic; Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i., Prague, Czech Republic; Department of Physics, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland.

Abstract

Biophysical properties of the tear film lipid layer are studied at the molecular level employing coarse grain molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with a realistic model of the human tear film. In this model, polar lipids are chosen to reflect the current knowledge on the lipidome of the tear film whereas typical Meibomian-origin lipids are included in the thick non-polar lipids subphase. Simulation conditions mimic those experienced by the real human tear film during blinks. Namely, thermodynamic equilibrium simulations at different lateral compressions are performed to model varying surface pressure, and the dynamics of the system during a blink is studied by non-equilibrium MD simulations. Polar lipids separate their non-polar counterparts from water by forming a monomolecular layer whereas the non-polar molecules establish a thick outermost lipid layer. Under lateral compression, the polar layer undulates and a sorting of polar lipids occurs. Moreover, formation of three-dimensional aggregates of polar lipids in both non-polar and water subphases is observed. We suggest that these three-dimensional structures are abundant under dynamic conditions caused by the action of eye lids and that they act as reservoirs of polar lipids, thus increasing stability of the tear film.

PMID:
24651175
PMCID:
PMC3961367
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0092461
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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