Methods in Molecular Biology™ Volume 580, 2010, pp 317-338
Date: 12 Aug 2009

Visualization of Complex Processes in Lipid Systems Using Computer Simulations and Molecular Graphics

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Computer simulation has become an increasingly popular tool in the study of lipid membranes, complementing experimental techniques by providing information on structure and dynamics at high spatial and temporal resolution. Molecular visualization is the most powerful way to represent the results of molecular simulations, and can be used to illustrate complex transformations of lipid aggregates more easily and more effectively than written text. In this chapter, we review some basic aspects of simulation methodologies commonly employed in the study of lipid membranes and we describe a few examples of complex phenomena that have been recently investigated using molecular simulations. We then explain how molecular visualization provides added value to computational work in the field of biological membranes, and we conclude by listing a few molecular graphics packages widely used in scientific publications.