Switch-like surface binding of competing multivalent particles
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Multivalent particles competing for binding on the same surface can exhibit switch-like behaviour, depending on the concentration of receptors on the surface. When the receptor concentration is low, energy dominates the free energy of binding, and particles having a small number of strongly-binding ligands preferentially bind to the surface. At higher receptor concentrations, multivalent effects become significant, and entropy dominates the binding free energy; particles having many weakly-binding ligands preferentially bind to the surface. Between these two regimes there is a “switch-point”, at which the surface binds the two species of particles equally strongly. We demonstrate that a simple theory can account for this switch-like behaviour and present numerical calculations that support the theoretical predictions. We argue that binding selectivity based on receptor density, rather than identity, may have practical applications.
- 14.B.D. Myers, Q.Y. Lin, H. Wu, E. Luijten, C.A. Mirkin, V.P. Dravid, ACS Nano, Article ASAP, doi: 10.1021/acsnano.6b02246 (2016)
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