Accelerated simulation method for charge regulation effects

Tine Curk, Jiaxing Yuan, Erik Luijten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The net charge of solvated entities, ranging from polyelectrolytes and biomolecules to charged nanoparticles and membranes, depends on the local dissociation equilibrium of individual ionizable groups. Incorporation of this phenomenon, charge regulation (CR), in theoretical and computational models requires dynamic, configuration-dependent recalculation of surface charges and is therefore typically approximated by assuming constant net charge on particles. Various computational methods exist that address this. We present an alternative, particularly efficient CR Monte Carlo method (CR-MC), which explicitly models the redistribution of individual charges and accurately samples the correct grand-canonical charge distribution. In addition, we provide an open-source implementation in the large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator molecular dynamics (MD) simulation package, resulting in a hybrid MD/CR-MC simulation method. This implementation is designed to handle a wide range of implicit-solvent systems that model discreet ionizable groups or surface sites. The computational cost of the method scales linearly with the number of ionizable groups, thereby allowing accurate simulations of systems containing thousands of individual ionizable sites. By matter of illustration, we use the CR-MC method to quantify the effects of CR on the nature of the polyelectrolyte coil-globule transition and on the effective interaction between oppositely charged nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044122
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 28 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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