Investigation of the tear film lipid layer at the molecular level - molecular dynamics simulations and experiments employing model lipid films
The project aims at getting a molecular-level understanding of biophysical properties of the human tear film lipid layer (TFLL). The influence of individual TFLL components on tear film structure and dynamics will be examined. Different lipid classes, the lysozyme protein, as well as selected drug molecules will be considered. The ocular surface of the human eye is protected by the tear film, an aqueous multilayered structure. The TFLL, a relatively thin layer of lipids, resides at tear film/air interface. The TFLL increases stability of the tear film, its deficiencies lead to evaporative dry eye syndrome, one of the commonly reported eye ailments. Hence, understanding of the TFLL properties is relevant for diagnosis and treatment of this eye disorder. Coarse grained molecular dynamics simulations will be employed to unravel how individual TFLL components affect its structure and stability. Computer simulations will be accompanied by Langmuir balance film experiments, including fluorescence imaging techniques.
Keywords in English:
molecular dynamics; tear film; tear film lipid layer; lipids; phospholipids; surface organic films; lysozyme; ectoine; glycerol; molecular simulations