Diffusive nature of xenon anesthetic changes properties of a lipid bilayer: Molecular dynamics simulations

Eiji Yamamoto, Takuma Akimoto, Hiroyuki Shimizu, Yoshinori Hirano, Masato Yasui, Kenji Yasuoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of general anesthesia can be controllable by the ambient pressure. We perform molecular dynamics simulations for a 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl phosphatidylethanolamine lipid bilayer with or without xenon molecules by changing the pressure to elucidate the mechanism of the pressure reversal of general anesthesia. According to the diffusive nature of xenon molecules in the lipid bilayer, a decrease in the orientational order of the lipid tails, an increase in the area and volume per lipid molecule, and an increase in the diffusivity of lipid molecules are observed. We show that the properties of the lipid bilayer with xenon molecules at high pressure come close to those without xenon molecules at 0.1 MPa. Furthermore, we find that xenon molecules are concentrated in the middle of the lipid bilayer at high pressures by the pushing effect and that the diffusivity of xenon molecules is suppressed. These results suggest that the pressure reversal originates from a jamming and suppression of the diffusivity of xenon molecules in lipid bilayers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8989-8995
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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