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Biomicrofluidics. 2015 Nov 9;9(6):064101. doi: 10.1063/1.4935382. eCollection 2015 Nov.

Multiscale modeling of droplet interface bilayer membrane networks.

Author information

1
College of Engineering, University of Georgia , Athens, Georgia 30602, USA.
2
Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign , Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.
3
Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, Virginia Tech , Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA.

Abstract

Droplet interface bilayer (DIB) networks are considered for the development of stimuli-responsive membrane-based materials inspired by cellular mechanics. These DIB networks are often modeled as combinations of electrical circuit analogues, creating complex networks of capacitors and resistors that mimic the biomolecular structures. These empirical models are capable of replicating data from electrophysiology experiments, but these models do not accurately capture the underlying physical phenomena and consequently do not allow for simulations of material functionalities beyond the voltage-clamp or current-clamp conditions. The work presented here provides a more robust description of DIB network behavior through the development of a hierarchical multiscale model, recognizing that the macroscopic network properties are functions of their underlying molecular structure. The result of this research is a modeling methodology based on controlled exchanges across the interfaces of neighboring droplets. This methodology is validated against experimental data, and an extension case is provided to demonstrate possible future applications of droplet interface bilayer networks.

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