Intermonolayer friction and surface shear viscosity of lipid bilayer membranes

Wouter K. den Otter, S. Shkulipa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


The flow behavior of lipid bilayer membranes is characterized by a surface viscosity for in-plane shear deformations, and an intermonolayer friction coefficient for slip between the two leaflets of the bilayer. Both properties have been studied for a variety of coarse-grained double-tailed model lipids, using equilibrium and nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations. For lipids with two identical tails, the surface shear viscosity rises rapidly with tail length, while the intermonolayer friction coefficient is less sensitive to the tail length. Interdigitation of lipid tails across the bilayer midsurface, as observed for lipids with two distinct tails, strongly enhances the intermonolayer friction coefficient, but hardly affects the surface shear viscosity. The simulation results are compared against the available experimental data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-433
Number of pages11
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


Dive into the research topics of 'Intermonolayer friction and surface shear viscosity of lipid bilayer membranes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this