Spectrin Network Simulations on a spherical fluid interface

Computational Chemistry / Network Systems / Scientific Computing

While found in a variety of environments, the protein Spectrin is commonly found forming a scaffolding over the exterior of red blood cells. This scaffolding is called a spectrin network, as the spectrin proteins are connected by bonds forming a triangulated mesh. We create a mathematical model of the Spectrin Networks as a set of inclusion particles held together by harmonic bonds forming a triangulation on the exterior of the fluid interface. Alongside hydrodynamic effects our model also subject to thermal fluctuations as well as the Weeks-Chandler Anderson Potential(WCA) for sterics. Using computational simulation of our model we are able to investigate the significance of accounting for hydrodynamics in models. Below are outputs of our computational simulations.
For methods on modeling hydrodynamic coupling in manifolds see Hydrodynamic Coupling of Particle Inclusions Embedded in Curved Lipid Bilayer Membranes.

Simulation of Spectrin Network without Hydrodynamics. Diffusion rattles Spectrin particles connected by stiff harmonic tethers. The lack of Hydrodynamics causes lower correlation in motion.

Simulation of Spectrin Networks with Hydrodynamics. When accounting for Hydrodynamics we see larger correlations in motion.