Reliability theory for receptor–ligand bond dissociation
Journal of Chemical Physics
Cell adhesion in the presence of hydrodynamic forces is a critical factor in inflammation, cancer metastasis, and blood clotting. A number of assays have recently been developed to apply forces to small numbers of the receptor-ligand bonds responsible for adhesion. Examples include assays using hydrodynamic shear in flow chambers or elastic probe deflection assays such as the atomic force microscope or the biomembrane force probe. One wishes to use the data on the time distribution of
... bution of dissociation from these assays to derive information on the force dependence of reaction rates, an important determinant of cell adhesive behavior. The dissociation process can be described using the theory developed for reliability engineering of electronic components and networks. We use this framework along with the Bell model for the reverse reaction rate (k r ϭk r 0 exp͓r 0 f/kT͔, where f is the applied force and k r 0 and r 0 are Bell model parameters͒ to write closed form expressions for the probability distribution of break-up with multiple independent or interacting bonds. These expressions show that the average lifetime of n bonds scales with the nth harmonic number multiplied by the lifetime of a single bond. Results from calculation and simulations are used to describe the effect of experimental procedures in forced unbinding assays on the estimation of parameters for the force dependence of reverse reaction rates.