Computer modelling of the adsorption of proteins on solid surfaces under the influence of double layer and van der waals energy
The study of protein interactions with surfaces is important in many branches of biomedical engineering. A computer model has been set up in order to aid the understanding and prediction of the likelihood of protein adsorption at a surface and of coagulation between two proteins. In this model, a protein is represented as a hard sphere, neglecting conformation changes which may occur during the adsorption process. The sphere is assumed to be in a medium whose properties are described by the ionic strength, the pH and the dielectric permittivity. It is considered to interact both with an infinite plane, representing the surface, and with another sphere, representing another protein. The model focuses on the total interaction energy between a protein and a surface and between two proteins. The energy is expressed according to the DLVO theory of colloidal stability, which assumes that the adsorption behaviour of proteins at a surface depends, first, on the van der Waals interactions energy and, second, on the electrostatic double layer interaction energy. The conditions under which adhesion is prevented correspond to the presence of local extremes of the enegy function, whereas the conditions under which adhesion is likely to take place correspond to absence of local extremes.