Diffusion-reaction processes in complex and crowded environments

Abstract : The overall purpose of this thesis is to analyze diffusion processes and diffusion-reaction processes in different types of non-ideal conditions, and to identify to which extent these non-ideal conditions influence the mobility of particles and the rate of the reactions occurring between molecules. In the first part of the thesis we concentrate on the effects of macromolecular crowding on the mobility of the agents, providing therefore a description of various diffusion processes in densely populated media. All the processes are analyzed by modeling the dynamics of the single agents as microscopic stochastic processes that keep track of the macromolecular crowding. The second part of the thesis aims at characterizing the role of the environment’s geometry (obstacles, compartmentalization) and distributed reactivity (competitive reactants, traps) on the reaction between selected molecules. The Smoluchowski theory for diffusion influenced reactions is thus adapted to domains arbitrarily decorated with obstacles and reactive boundaries, and the stationary diffusion equation is explicitly solved through harmonic-based techniques. The explicit calculation of the reaction rate constant and the derivation of simple approximated formulas are used for investigating nano-technological applications and naturally occurring reactions.
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Marta Galanti. Diffusion-reaction processes in complex and crowded environments. Biological Physics [physics.bio-ph]. Université d'Orléans; Università degli studi (Florence, Italie), 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016ORLE2004⟩. ⟨tel-01412527⟩

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