Biological membranes are complex environments consisting of different types of lipids and membrane proteins. The structure of a lipid bilayer is typically difficult to study because the membrane liquid crystalline state is made up of multiple disordered lipid molecules. This complicates the description of the lipid membrane properties by the conformation of any single lipid molecule. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have been used extensively to investigate properties of membrane lipids, lipid vesicles, and membrane protein systems. All-atom membrane models can elucidate detailed contacts between membrane proteins and its surrounding lipids, while united-atom and coarse-grained description have allowed larger models and longer timescales up to microsecond mark to be probed. Additionally, membrane models with mixed phospholipids and lipopolysaccharide content have made it possible to model improved views of biological membranes. Here, we present an overview of commonly used lipid force fields by the biosimulation community, useful tools for membrane MD simulations, and recent advances in membrane simulations.
Part of the book: Bioinformatics