Volume 98, Number 1, April 2012
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology|
|Published online||12 April 2012|
Critical adsorption controls translocation of polymer chains through lipid bilayers and permeation of solvent
Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden e.V. - Hohe Strasse 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany, EU
2 Technische Universität Dresden, Institute of Theoretical Physics - 01069 Dresden, Germany, EU
3 ICREA - 23 Passeig Lluis Companys, Barcelona 08010, Spain, EU
4 Departament d'Enginyeria Química, Universitat Rovira i Virgili - 26 Av. dels Paisos, Catalans, Tarragona 43007, Spain, EU
Accepted: 9 March 2012
Monte Carlo simulations using an explicit solvent model indicate a new pathway for translocation of a polymer chain through a lipid bilayer. We consider a polymer chain composed of repeat units with a given hydrophobicity and a coarse-grained model of a lipid bilayer in the self-organized liquid state. By varying the degree of hydrophobicity the chain undergoes an adsorption transition with respect to the lipid bilayer. Close to the transition point, at a properly balanced hydrophobicity of the chain, the membrane becomes transparent with respect to the chain. At the same time the solvent permeability of the bilayer is strongly increased in the region close to the adsorbed chain. Our results indicate that the critical point of adsorption of the polymer chain interacting with the fluctuating lipid bilayer could play a key role for the translocation of molecules through biological membranes.
PACS: 87.16.dp – Transport, including channels, pores, and lateral diffusion / 68.47.Pe – Langmuir-Blodgett films on solids; polymers on surfaces; biological molecules on surfaces / 82.35.Gh – Polymers on surfaces; adhesion
© EPLA, 2012
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