Molecular dynamics simulation studies of the interactions between ionic liquids and amino acids in aqueous solution

Luciana I. N. Tome, Miguel Jorge, Jose R. B. Gomes, Joao A. P. Coutinho

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Although the understanding of the influence of ionic liquids (ILs) on the solubility behavior of biomolecules in aqueous solutions is relevant for the design and optimization of novel biotechnological processes, the underlying molecular-level mechanisms are not yet consensual or clearly elucidated. In order to contribute to the understanding of the molecular interactions established between amino acids and ILs in aqueous media, classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed for aqueous solutions of five amino acids with different structural characteristics (glycine, alanine, valine, isoleucine, and glutamic acid) in the presence of 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl imide. The results from MD simulations enable to relate the properties of the amino acids, namely their hydrophobicity, to the type and strength of their interactions with ILs in aqueous solutions and provide an explanation for the direction and magnitude of the solubility phenomena observed in [IL + amino acid + water] systems by a mechanism governed by a balance between competitive interactions of the IL cation, IL anion, and water with the amino acids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1831-1842
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2012


  • molecular dynamics
  • simulation studies
  • interactions
  • ionic liquids
  • amino acids
  • aqueous solution
  • biomolecules
  • force-field
  • sodium
  • resolution
  • hexafluorophosphate
  • lipase
  • water
  • salt-solutions
  • green solvents
  • protein stability
  • mutual solubilities


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