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How Actuated Particles Effectively Capture Biomolecular Targets

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journal contribution
posted on 13.02.2017, 00:00 by Alexander van Reenen, Arthur M. de Jong, Menno W. J. Prins
Because of their high surface-to-volume ratio and adaptable surface functionalization, particles are widely used in bioanalytical methods to capture molecular targets. In this article, a comprehensive study is reported of the effectiveness of protein capture by actuated magnetic particles. Association rate constants are quantified in experiments as well as in Brownian dynamics simulations for different particle actuation configurations. The data reveal how the association rate depends on the particle velocity, particle density, and particle assembly characteristics. Interestingly, single particles appear to exhibit target depletion zones near their surface, caused by the high density of capture molecules. The depletion effects are even more limiting in cases with high particle densities. The depletion effects are overcome and protein capture rates are enhanced by applying dynamic particle actuation, resulting in an increase in the association rate constants by up to 2 orders of magnitude.