Shock Wave-Induced Damage of a Protein by Void Collapse

Edmond Y Lau, Max L. Berkowitz, Eric Schwegler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In this study, we report on a series of molecular dynamics simulations that were used to examine the effects of shock waves on a membrane-bound ion channel. A planar shock wave was found to compress the ion channel upon impact, but the protein geometry resembles the crystal structure as soon as the solvent density begins to dissipate. When a void was placed in close proximity to the membrane, the shock wave proved to be more destructive to the protein due to formation of a nanojet that results from the asymmetric collapse of the void. The nanojet was able to cause significant structural changes to the protein even at low piston velocities that are not able to directly cause poration of the membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-156
Number of pages10
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 5 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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