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Effects of High Pressure on Phospholipid Bilayers

Ding, Wei; Wei, Ding; Palaiokostas, Michail; Shahane, Ganesh; Wang, Wen; Orsi, Mario


Wei Ding

Ding Wei

Michail Palaiokostas

Ganesh Shahane

Wen Wang

Mario Orsi
Senior Lecturer in Maths Supporting Science


© 2017 American Chemical Society. The response of lipid membranes to changes in external pressure is important for many biological processes, and it can also be exploited for technological applications. In this work, we employ all-atom molecular dynamics simulations to characterize the changes in the physical properties of phospholipid bilayers brought about by high pressure (1000 bar). In particular, we study how the response differs, in relation to different chain unsaturation levels, by comparing monounsaturated 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylcholine (POPC) and biunsaturated dioleoyl-phosphatidylcholine (DOPC) bilayers. Various structural, mechanical, and dynamical features are found to be altered by the pressure increase in both bilayers. Notably, for most properties, including bilayer area and thickness, lipid order parameters, lateral pressure profile, and curvature frustration energy, we observe significantly more pronounced effects for monounsaturated POPC than biunsaturated DOPC. Possible biological implications of the results obtained are discussed, especially in relation to how different lipids can control the structure and function of membrane proteins.


Ding, W., Wei, D., Palaiokostas, M., Shahane, G., Wang, W., & Orsi, M. (2017). Effects of High Pressure on Phospholipid Bilayers. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 121(41), 9597-9606.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 19, 2017
Publication Date Oct 19, 2017
Journal Journal of Physical Chemistry B
Print ISSN 1520-6106
Electronic ISSN 1520-5207
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 121
Issue 41
Pages 9597-9606
Keywords high pressure, phospholipid bilayers
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final published version is available at


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