Lipid Rafts – Mathematical Modeling, Molecular Dynamics, and Experiments

Studying the kinetics of unmixing in membranes via computer simulations
© Angela Stevens, Volker Gerke, Andreas Heuer

Principal investigators: Angela Stevens, Volker Gerke, Andreas Heuer
Project time: 07/2013 - 06/2015
Project code: FF-2013-29

Lipid molecules diffuse 2-dimensionally within the lipid bilayer and can form domains of different lipid compositon  (lipid rafts). These lipid rafts are thought to play an important role in signal transduction and membrane trafficking.

In this project

  1. phase separation in giant unilamellar vesicles will be followed online microscopically in chambers that allow change of ambient conditions.
  2. Computer simulations for ternary lipid mixtures will be performed, using a coarse grained modeling procedure.
  3. Macroscopic mathematical models for phase separation, forming periodic patterns will be developed and analyzed w.r.t. their underlying possible microscopid features.