Using Molecular Dynamics to Quantify Biaxial Membrane Damage in a Multiscale Modeling Framework for Traumatic Brain Injury
Murphy, M. A. (2017). Using Molecular Dynamics to Quantify Biaxial Membrane Damage in a Multiscale Modeling Framework for Traumatic Brain Injury. Mississippi State University: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.
The current study investigates the effect of strain state, strain rate, and membrane planar area on phospholipid bilayer mechanoporation and failure. Using molecular dynamics, a 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylcholine (POPC) bilayer was deformed biaxially to represent injury-induced neuronal membrane mechanoporation and failure. For all studies, water forming a bridge through both phospholipid bilayer leaflets was used as a failure metric. To examine the effect of strain state, 72 phospholipid structures were subjected to equibiaxial, 2:1 non-equibiaxial, 4:1 non-equibiaxial, strip biaxial, and uniaxial tensile deformations at the von Mises strain rate of 5.45 × 10⁸ s⁻¹. The stress magnitude, failure strain, headgroup clustering, and damage behavior were strain state dependent. The strain state order of detrimentality in descending order was equibiaxial, 2:1 non-equibiaxial, 4:1 non-equibiaxial, strip biaxial, and uniaxial with failure von Mises strains of 0.46, 0.47, 0.53, 0.77, and 1.67, respectively. Additionally, pore nucleation, growth, and failure were used to create a Membrane Failure Limit Diagram (MFLD) to demonstrate safe and unsafe membrane deformation regions. This MFLD allowed representative equations to be derived to predict membrane failure from in-plane strains. To examine the effect of strain rate, the equibiaxial and strip biaxial strain states were repeated at multiple strain rates. Additionally, a 144 phospholipid structure, which was twice the size of the 72 phospholipid structure in the x dimension, was subjected to strip biaxial tensile deformations to examine planar area effect. The applied strain rates, planar area, and cross-sectional area had no effect on the von Mises strains at which pores greater than 0.1 nm² were detected (0.509 plus/minus 7.8%) or the von Mises strain at failure (0.68 plus/minus 4.8%). Additionally, changes in bilayer planar and cross-sectional areas did not affect the stress response. However, a strain rate increase from 1.4 × 10⁸ to 6.8 × 10⁸ s⁻¹ resulted in a yield stress increase of 44.1 MPa and a yield strain increase of 0.17. Additionally, a stress and mechanoporation behavioral transition was determined to occur at a strain rate of ~1.4 × 10⁸ s⁻¹. These results provide the basis to implement a more accurate mechano-physiological internal state variable continuum model that captures lower-length scale damage.