Designing selective hydrogels that passively filter particles based on their interactions is a fundamental goal of nanotechnology. While it is conceptually straightforward for a particle's interactions to facilitate its own retention (specific binding domains on the gel trap particles with complementary recognition sites), it is much more difficult for a particle to facilitate its own diffusion. This requires the binding interaction to locally reorganize the internal structure of the gel. We present a mechanism for this behavior and describe a theoretical model of the diffusion of interacting and non-interaction particles that is backed by numerical results. We also discuss how our results can lead to the design of artificial selective gels inspired by the Nuclear Pore Complex.
APS March Meeting Abstracts
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