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Langmuir. 2006 Jan 3;22(1):127-33.

Molecular bond formation between surfaces: anchoring and shearing effects.

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CNRS UMR 168/Institut Curie-11, 75 248 Paris Cedex 05, France.


Specific molecular bonds between apposing surfaces play a central role in many biological structures and functions. They display a widely varying anchoring to the cell surface, and they are subject to forces that affect their binding characteristics due to their hydrodynamic environments. Here, we examine both anchoring and shearing aspects using simplified model systems aimed at gaining insight into the formation of a 2D bond collection under stress using two different surface anchors. The highly specific streptavidin-biotin molecular bond was chosen as the model receptor-ligand pair, and grafted colloids were used as model surfaces. To explore the role of the surface anchor, we grafted biotin onto the particle surface following two different approaches: first, the grafting was performed directly on the particle amine functions; second, a 35-nm-long PEG spacer was used. Hybrid particle classes were brought into contact in a homogeneous shear (between 200 s(-)(1) and 1200 s(-)(1)) using a cone plate geometry. The bond association and dissociation kinetics were given by the time course assemblage of hybrid particles into doublets. We observed saturating kinetics profiles that we interpreted as a linkage-breakage equilibrium, which yielded the on and off rates. We found that the biotin-PEG spacer was needed in order to observe significant binding at any shear rate. We also showed that only the number of collisions per unit time, generated by the shear, affected the on rate of the binding. Neither the exerted forces nor the collision lifetime had any effect. The off rate decreased with shear, possibly because of the shortening of the force duration, which results from the increasing shear rate.


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