HRZZ Installation Research Projects (UIP-11-2013) Multi-scale description of meso-scale domain formation and destruction

Name of the Principal Investigator (PI) Larisa Zoranić

Name of the PI's host institution for the project Faculty of Natural Science, University of Split

Proposal duration in months 36, started September, 2014

Funding:  Croatian Science Fundation

Project abstract:

The physics of associated liquids, amphiphilic solutions and lipids in water is determined by competing hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions between various molecular groups. By exploring assemblies ranging from molecular to cellular sizes we are aiming at building a unified view of the principal mechanisms responsible for domain formation and destruction. This new approach is founded on well establishes methodologies and hasn't been explored as such in similar research projects. In the project's first year, by molecular dynamic simulations, we will quantify micro-heterogeneity in liquids as a structural order that exists on the local scale and doesn't propagate on the global scale. As a continuation of the first-year results, we will study how the structure of the above mentioned liquids changes when dissolving molecules that promote or destroy domains defined by the local ordering. The used methods will be simulations and integral equation theory. In parallel with the molecular scale studies, the cellular membranes will be probed by means of experimental measurements and simulations. The aim will be to describe the mechanism of destruction of lipid bilayers induced by antimicrobial peptides.