Molecular dynamics simulations of a fluid bilayer of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine at full hydration, constant pressure, and constant temperature

Biophys J. 1997 May;72(5):2002-13. doi: 10.1016/S0006-3495(97)78845-3.


Molecular dynamics simulations of 500 ps were performed on a system consisting of a bilayer of 64 molecules of the lipid dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine and 23 water molecules per lipid at an isotropic pressure of 1 atm and 50 degrees C. Special attention was devoted to reproduce the correct density of the lipid, because this quantity is known experimentally with a precision better than 1%. For this purpose, the Lennard-Jones parameters of the hydrocarbon chains were adjusted by simulating a system consisting of 128 pentadecane molecules and varying the Lennard-Jones parameters until the experimental density and heat of vaporization were obtained. With these parameters the lipid density resulted in perfect agreement with the experimental density. The orientational order parameter of the hydrocarbon chains agreed perfectly well with the experimental values, which, because of its correlation with the area per lipid, makes it possible to give a proper estimate of the area per lipid of 0.61 +/- 0.01 nm2.

MeSH terms

  • 1,2-Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine / chemistry*
  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Biophysics
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry*
  • Membrane Fluidity*
  • Models, Chemical*
  • Pressure
  • Temperature


  • Lipid Bilayers
  • 1,2-Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine