A rapid boundary integral equation technique for protein electrostatics

Scott Grandison, Robert Penfold, Jean-Marc Vanden-Broeck

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11 Citations (Scopus)


A new boundary integral formulation is proposed for the solution of electrostatic field problems involving piecewise uniform dielectric continua. Direct Coulomb contributions to the total potential are treated exactly and Green’s theorem is applied only to the residual reaction field generated by surface polarisation charge induced at dielectric boundaries. The implementation shows significantly improved numerical stability over alternative schemes involving the total field or its surface normal derivatives. Although strictly respecting the electrostatic boundary conditions, the partitioned scheme does introduce a jump artefact at the interface. Comparison against analytic results in canonical geometries, however, demonstrates that simple interpolation near the boundary is a cheap and effective way to circumvent this characteristic in typical applications. The new scheme is tested in a naive model to successfully predict the ground state orientation of biomolecular aggregates comprising the soybean storage protein, glycinin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-680
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2007

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