Section 33
Chapter 32,399

Molecular dynamics simulations of microstructure and mixing dynamics of cryoprotective solvents in water and in the presence of a lipid membrane

Kyrychenko, A.; Dyubko, T.S.

Biophysical Chemistry 136(1): 23-31


ISSN/ISBN: 0301-4622
PMID: 18495323
DOI: 10.1016/j.bpc.2008.04.004
Accession: 032398069

Download citation:  

Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is used to investigate the solubility behavior of cryoprotective (CP) solvents, such as DMSO, ethylene glycol (EG) and glycerol (GL), in pure water and in the presence of a lipid membrane. The MD study is focused on an equilibration timescale required for mixing large CP aggregates with aqueous and aqueous/lipid environments. The MD analysis demonstrates that DMSO mixes rapidly with water, so that all solute molecules are uniformly distributed in the equilibrium aqueous solution. Our investigation of the microstructure of binary EG/water and GL/water systems reveals that, despite the miscibility of both CP solvents with water, they are not ideally mixed in aqueous solutions at the molecular level. The MD simulations show that the mixing dynamics of the large CP cluster and surrounding water is found to be strongly dependent on nature of hydrophilic and hydrophobic interactions acting between cryoprotectant molecules. In particular, a spatial hydrogen-bond network formed between CP molecules plays an important role in the mixing dynamics between CP agents and water. A further analysis on the mixing behavior of the CP solvents with pure water and with aqueous solutions at a lipid membrane interface shows that, due to strong binding of the CP molecules to membrane surface, the equilibration process in the lipid environment becomes very slow, at least of the order of microseconds. The MD results are discussed in the context of the better understanding on the composition of the aqueous mixtures of the EG and GL solvents. Knowledge of the microstructure and the dynamics of these systems helps to develop better cryopreservation protocols and to propose more optimal cooling/warming regimes for cellular cryosolutions.

PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90