Background: The study of the effect of external electric field on the structure and
reactivity of fatty acids and their glycerides is now extended to selected derived lipids.
Objectives: The present study involves computations of changes in energy and dipole
moments, charge density and bond lengths of β-carotene (a carotenoid), cholesterol (a sterol),
sphingosine and ceramide (sphingolipids) and phosphatidylcholine (a phospholipid) in the
external electric field of 0.00, 5.14, 25.70 and 51.40 MV/cm.
Method: The computations were performed applying HyperChem 8.0 software together with
the PM3 method for optimization of the conformation of the molecules.
Results: The raise in the EEF strength to 5.14 MV/cm has a subtle effect on the molecular
energy of the lipids under study. A slight tendency in decreasing that energy can, however, be
observed. On elevating the strength up to 25.70 MV/cm that decrease in molecular energy
was more significant.
Conclusions: Observed changes evoked by the EEF were specific for particular molecules.
They resulted mainly from the polarization of the bonds and to a lesser extent from steric
deformations of the molecules.