The solvated large lipoplex contained channels: regular dsDNA/aqueous channels are indicated in peach (A); an open channel is depicted with a magenta circle (B); and aqueous connecting channels are indicated with red arrows (A/B). The water is drawn in ice-blue (A) and the lipid density in grey (B). The connecting channels were mainly perpendicular to the HII channels and positioned at the end point(s) of the dsDNA (A). All HII channels but two were closed on both ends by lipid density. One channel remained open on both sides over a period of 10 µs, with the dsDNA in the open channel positioned in the lipoplex in the same manner as the dsDNA in the closed channels. Apparently opening a channel is not enough for dsDNA release from the complex. The bottom panel shows, from left to right, the channel connectivity for the large periodic phase under standard, elongated, and extra hydrated conditions (C). The spacing of the HII phase is already finished at 180 ns (the used equilibration time), however, some connective channels still exist, indicated by neighboring channels having the same color. These connections could be closed by equilibrating slightly longer (230 ns in total). To inspect if these channels could be stabilized, we increased the hydration (lipids:watersAA 1:12). This indeed resulted in connective channels being present until the end of the simulation.