Treatment of geometric singularities in implicit solvent models

Sining Yu; Weihua Geng; Wei, G. W.
June 2007
Journal of Chemical Physics;6/28/2007, Vol. 126 Issue 24, p244108
Academic Journal
Geometric singularities, such as cusps and self-intersecting surfaces, are major obstacles to the accuracy, convergence, and stability of the numerical solution of the Poisson-Boltzmann (PB) equation. In earlier work, an interface technique based PB solver was developed using the matched interface and boundary (MIB) method, which explicitly enforces the flux jump condition at the solvent-solute interfaces and leads to highly accurate biomolecular electrostatics in continuum electric environments. However, such a PB solver, denoted as MIBPB-I, cannot maintain the designed second order convergence whenever there are geometric singularities, such as cusps and self-intersecting surfaces. Moreover, the matrix of the MIBPB-I is not optimally symmetrical, resulting in the convergence difficulty. The present work presents a new interface method based PB solver, denoted as MIBPB-II, to address the aforementioned problems. The present MIBPB-II solver is systematical and robust in treating geometric singularities and delivers second order convergence for arbitrarily complex molecular surfaces of proteins. A new procedure is introduced to make the MIBPB-II matrix optimally symmetrical and diagonally dominant. The MIBPB-II solver is extensively validated by the molecular surfaces of few-atom systems and a set of 24 proteins. Converged electrostatic potentials and solvation free energies are obtained at a coarse grid spacing of 0.5 Ã… and are considerably more accurate than those obtained by the PBEQ and the APBS at finer grid spacings.


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