LipidWrapper: an algorithm for generating large-scale membrane models of arbitrary geometry

PLoS Comput Biol. 2014 Jul 17;10(7):e1003720. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003720. eCollection 2014 Jul.


As ever larger and more complex biological systems are modeled in silico, approximating physiological lipid bilayers with simple planar models becomes increasingly unrealistic. In order to build accurate large-scale models of subcellular environments, models of lipid membranes with carefully considered, biologically relevant curvature will be essential. In the current work, we present a multi-scale utility called LipidWrapper capable of creating curved membrane models with geometries derived from various sources, both experimental and theoretical. To demonstrate its utility, we use LipidWrapper to examine an important mechanism of influenza virulence. A copy of the program can be downloaded free of charge under the terms of the open-source FreeBSD License from LipidWrapper has been tested on all major computer operating systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry*
  • Lipid Bilayers / metabolism*
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Orthomyxoviridae / chemistry
  • Orthomyxoviridae / pathogenicity
  • Software
  • Viral Proteins / chemistry
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism


  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Viral Proteins