Transient ordered domains in single-component phospholipid bilayers

T. Murtola, T. Rog, E. Falck, M. Karttunen, I. Vattulainen

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    We report evidence of dense, ordered nanodomains in single-component fluid lipid bilayers. Our atomic-scale molecular dynamics simulations suggest that the area available to a lipid acyl chain exhibits large fluctuations, resulting in denser and sparser domains. The sizes of the dense domains can be up to ∼10  nm, and their lifetimes are of the order of ∼10  ns. In addition, our simulations suggest that domains of lipids with highly ordered acyl chains form predominantly within the dense regions, their sizes ranging from a few chains up to a few nanometers, and with lifetimes between ∼10  ps–10  ns. These observations shed light on the origin of experimentally observed fluctuations, as well as on the mechanisms of phase transitions in lipid membranes.
    Translated title of the contributionTransient ordered domains in single-component phospholipid bilayers
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)pp. 238102
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Issue number23, 238102
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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