Diffusion-limited attachment of large spherical particles to flexible membrane-immobilized receptors
Journal article, 2015
Relatively large (similar to 100 nm) spherical particles, e.g., virions, vesicles, or metal nanoparticles, often interact with short (< 10 nm) flexible receptors immobilized in a lipid membrane or on other biologically relevant surfaces. The attachment kinetics of such particles may be limited globally by their diffusion toward a membrane or locally by diffusion around receptors. The detachment kinetics, also, can be limited by diffusion. Focusing on local diffusion limitations and using suitable approximations, we present expressions for the corresponding rate constants and identify their dependence on particle size and receptor length. We also illustrate features likely to be observed in such kinetics for particles (e.g., vesicles) with a substantial size distribution. The results obtained are generic and can be used to interpret a variety of situations. For example, we estimate upper values of virion attachment rate constants and clarify the likely effect of vesicle size distribution on previously observed non-exponential kinetics of vesicle detachment.