Application of computational approaches in biomembranes: From structure to function

Jingjing Guo, Yiqiong Bao, Mengrong Li, Shu Li, Lili Xi, Pengyang Xin, Lei Wu, Huanxiang Liu, Yuguang Mu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Biological membranes (biomembranes) are one of the most complicated structures that allow life to exist. Investigating their structure, dynamics, and function is crucial for advancing our knowledge of cellular mechanisms and developing novel therapeutic strategies. However, experimental investigation of many biomembrane phenomena is challenging due to their compositional and structural complexity, as well as the inherently multi-scalar features. Computational approaches, particularly molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, have emerged as powerful tools for addressing the atomic details of biomembrane systems, driving breakthroughs in our understanding of biomembranes and their roles in cellular function. This review presents an overview of the latest advancements in related computational approaches, from force fields and model construction to MD simulations and trajectory analysis. We also discussed current hot research topics and challenges. Finally, we outline future directions, emphasizing the integration of force field development, enhanced sampling techniques, and data-driven approaches to accelerate the growth of this field in the years to come. We aim to equip readers with an understanding of the promise and limitations of emerging computational technologies in biomembrane systems and offer valuable recommendations for future research endeavors. This article is categorized under: Structure and Mechanism > Computational Biochemistry and Biophysics Molecular and Statistical Mechanics > Molecular Dynamics and Monte-Carlo Methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1679
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Computational Molecular Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023


  • biological membranes
  • lipids
  • membrane proteins
  • molecular dynamics simulation
  • molecular modeling


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