Author(s): Ghosh SK, Cherstvy AG, Metzler R, Ghosh SK, Cherstvy AG, Metzler R
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Abstract We study the elastic deformations in a cross-linked polymer network film triggered by the binding of submicron particles with a sticky surface, mimicking the interactions of viral pathogens with thin films of stimulus-responsive polymeric materials such as hydrogels. From extensive Langevin Dynamics simulations we quantify how far the network deformations propagate depending on the elasticity parameters of the network and the adhesion strength of the particles. We examine the dynamics of the collective area shrinkage of the network and obtain some simple relations for the associated characteristic decay lengths. A detailed analysis elucidates how the elastic energy of the network is distributed between stretching and compression modes in response to the particle binding. We also examine the force-distance curves of the repulsion or attraction interactions for a pair of sticky particles in the polymer network film as a function of the particle-particle separation. The results of this computational study provide new insight into collective phenomena in soft polymer network films and may, in particular, be applied to applications for visual detection of pathogens such as viruses via a macroscopic response of thin films of cross-linked hydrogels.
This article was published in J Chem Phys
and referenced in Biosensors Journal