Molecular modeling of cetylpyridinium bromide, a cationic surfactant, in solutions and micelle
Mitchell-Koch, Katie R.
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Rajni Verma, Archana Mishra, and Katie R. Mitchell-Koch. 2015. Molecular Modeling of Cetylpyridinium Bromide, a Cationic Surfactant, in Solutions and Micelle. Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation 2015 11 (11), 5415-5425
Cationic surfactants are widely used in biological and industrial processes. Notably, surfactants with pyridinium salts, such as cetylpyridinium bromide (CPB), have diverse applications. The cetylpyridium cation has a quaternary nitrogen in the aromatic heterocyclic ring of the headgroup and 16 carbons in the hydrocarbon tail. At present and in the past, it has been widely used in germicides. Recently, several interesting applications of CPB have been explored, including its use in protein folding, polymerization, enzyme studies, and gene delivery as well as in pharmaceuticals as a drug delivery tool. A molecular-level understanding of CPB and its micelle in solution can enhance its development in such applications. Herein, we have proposed the first united-atom force field for CPB that yields stable micellar aggregates in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The force field is validated through classical MD simulations of the CPB monomer in pure water and 1-octanol as well as in an aqueous CPB micelle. We have performed principal component analysis (PCA) and calculated the translational and rotational diffusion coefficients, spatial distribution of solvent, counterion distribution, and rotational correlation time of CPB molecule in solutions and in micelle, comparing these data to previous experimental and theoretical results for a strong validation of the force field. PCA confirms that the pyridinium ring remains planar, whereas the movement of the hydrophobic tail region leads to conformational changes during the simulations. The collective modes of the pyridinum ring were identical for CPB molecule in solution and micelle, but conformational dynamics of the CPB tail were restricted in the micelle relative to motions in water and 1-octanol. Using this force field, a spherical CPB micelle was shown to be stable throughout the course of simulation, and its solvation and structural properties are characterized.
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