Ethanol Enhances Collective Dynamics of Lipid Membranes

Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2011 May;83(5 Pt 1):050907. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.83.050907. Epub 2011 May 25.


From inelastic neutron-scattering experiments and all atom molecular dynamics simulations we present evidence for a low-energy dynamical mode in the fluid phase of a 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phoshatidylcholine (DMPC) bilayer immersed in a 5% water/ethanol solution. In addition to the well-known phonon that shows a liquidlike dispersion with energies up to 4.5 meV, we observe an additional mode at smaller energies of 0.8 meV, which shows little or no dispersion. Both modes show transverse properties and might be related to molecular motion perpendicular to the bilayer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane / chemistry*
  • Dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine / chemistry
  • Ethanol / chemistry*
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry*
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulation*
  • Neutron Diffraction


  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Ethanol
  • Dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine