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Substrate concentration dependence of the diffusion-controlled steady-state rate constant


The Smoluchowski approach to diffusion-controlled reactions is generalized to interacting substrate particles by including the osmotic pressure and hydrodynamic interactions of the nonideal particles in the Smoluchoswki equation within a local-density approximation. By solving the strictly linearized equation for the time-independent case with absorbing boundary conditions, we present an analytic expression for the diffusion-limited steady-state rate constant for small substrate concentrations in terms of an effective second virial coefficient B-2(*). Comparisons to Brownian dynamics simulations excluding hydrodynamic interactions show excellent agreement up to bulk number densities of B(2)(*)rho(0)less than or similar to 0.4 for hard sphere and repulsive Yukawa-like interactions between the substrates. Our study provides an alternative way to determine the second virial coefficient of interacting macromolecules experimentally by measuring their steady-state rate constant in diffusion-controlled reactions at low densities. (c) 2005 American Institute of Physics.

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