Lipid Bilayers as Potential Ice Nucleating Agents

Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics

Just accepted


This paper is about whether cellular membranes could be responsible for facilitating the ice nucleation process, and what characteristics would make them good or bad ice nucleating agents. We simulated several phospholipids and lipopolysaccharide bilayers at the interface with supercooled liquid water. A bilayer’s ability to act as an ice nucleating agent is complex, with both chemical and structural factors of relevance. Such bilayers appear to act as ice nucleating agents, although other impurities likely also play a role in initiating extracellular ice nucleation. These findings represent a first attempt to pinpoint the origin of extracellular ice nucleation, with important implications for the cryopreservation process. Have a look at the paper online or grab a pdf here.