Lysozyme adsorption on polyethylene surfaces: Why are long simulations needed?

Tao Wei, Marcelo A. Carignano, Igal Szleifer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


The adsorption of lysozyme onto a polyethylene (PE) surface in an aqueous environment was investigated via molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. The adsorption can be divided into three processes: diffusion to the surface, dehydration induced by hydrophobic surface-protein interactions, and denaturation. The dehydration process is very long, around 70 ns. Structural deformations start soon after the protein reaches the surface and continue during the whole trajectory. The hydrophobic residues are slowly driven toward the surface, inducing changes in the protein's secondary structure. The protein's secondary structural components near the surface are more disturbed than those farther away from the surface. The lysozyme is adsorbed with its long axis parallel to the surface and displays an anisotropic mobility on the surface that is probably due to the intrinsic structure of the PE surface. Our study demonstrates the need for long-time atomistic simulation in order to gain a complete understanding of the adsorption process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12074-12081
Number of pages8
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 4 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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