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Modeling Particle Hydrodynamic Transport in an Idealized Nanoscale Bio-Motor

P.W. Longest and R.M. Pidaparti
Virginia Commonwealth University, US

particle transport, CFD, nuclear pore complex

In the cell, hydrodynamic characteristics of the nuclear pore complex (NPC) are characterized by Stokesian liquid flow dynamics and high relative particle diffusion rates. As such, the hydrodynamics model of the NPC will be based on a continuum approach and effects of surface slip will be considered negligible. Effects of wall roughness, electrostatic and chemical potential interactions may be accounted for using near-wall submodels. However, these effects will initially be neglected in this simulation to highlight the dominant Brownian motion driven diffusion of particles versus convective transport. The motion of small (100 kDa) dilute protein-like spheres with a diameter of 5 nm will be considered using a Lagrangian point-force model. Transport conditions of diffusion dominant (physiologically accurate), mixed, and convective flows will be analyzed to determine particle deposition versus particle escape characteristics. Effects of particle-wall hydrodynamic interactions as well as two-way coupling may also be included. Applications for diffusion controlled particle transport include sensing and bioprocessing, where particle-wall contact is necessary. In contrast, particle depositions will be reduced with increasing convective transport, which may be beneficial for nano-nozzle delivery of sprays and coatings.

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