Modeling Biomolecular Transport at the Nanoscale

  • A. T. Conlisk


Biomolecular transport devices are now being used for drug development and delivery, single molecule manipulation, detection and transport and rapid molecular analysis. Many of these processes are illustrated by natural ion channels which are ion-selective nanoscale conduits in the body which allow nutrients in and waste products out. In this chapter we review the state of the art of modeling and computation of biomolecular transport in what we term synthetic ion nanochannels consisting of rectangular silicon channels for which the walls are negatively charged; we also consider the case where the walls are not charged.We consider computational techniques ranging from continuum models utilizing the Poisson- Nernst-Planck system to molecular dynamic simulations that allow tracking of individual molecules. Biomolecular transport can be modeled by incorporating hindered diffusion concepts and the methods are employed to predict the transport of albumin and glucose in silicon nanochannels. Brownian Dynamics and Molecular Dynamics methods represent techniques that must be used when continuum methods break down and these methods are also reviewed. It should be noted that the exact boundary between continuum methods and molecular simulation methods is not always clear.


Surface Charge Density Channel Height Brownian Dynamic Brownian Dynamic Simulation Electric Double Layer Thickness 
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© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. T. Conlisk
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe Ohio State UniversityColumbus

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