Condensed Matter Physics, 1999, vol. 2, No. 2(18), p. 361-368, English

Authors: S.Katletz, U.M.Titulaer (Institute for Theoretical Physics, Johannes Kepler University, Altenbergerstrasse 69, Linz, Austria)

We discuss a statistical model for antibody-antigen binding. The two macromolecules are assumed to be linked by a number of relatively weak bonds (or groups of correlated bonds) that are assumed to open and close statistically. We use the model for a preliminary analysis of experiments performed in the Institute of Biophysics at the Johannes Kepler University. In these experiments the two molecules are brought into contact using an atomic force microscope; then a prescribed time dependent force is applied to the bond and the distribution of times needed to pull the molecules completely apart is measured. This quantity is calculated with our model; its dependence on the model parameters (binding free energies, number of groups of correlated elementary bonds, force dependence of the binding free energy) is determined.

Comments: Figs. 6, Refs. 5, Tabs. 0.

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