AIMS Biophysics, 2017, 4(1): 33-42. doi: 10.3934/biophy.2017.1.33

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Bilayer degradation in reactive environments

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Drexel University, 3101 Chestnut St, Philadelphia PA 19104, USA

Lipid vesicles, or liposomes have been widely studied both as a model for cell membranes and for applications such as drug delivery. As a rule, their aqueous environment (in vitro or in vivo) contains various degradation agents, ranging from free radicals to acids and enzymes. This paper investigates the degradation of lipid vesicles as a function of environmental conditions using 3d Monte-Carlo simulations. The time-scale for bilayer degradation is found to be independent of the liposome size, but highly sensitive to the concentration of degradation molecules in solution and to the rate of the degradation reaction.
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