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Receptor heterogeneity in optical biosensors



David A. Edwards, Ryan Evans


Many biochemical reactions in nature involve a stream of chemical reactants (ligand molecules) flowing over a surface to which other reactants (receptors) are confined. Scientists measure rate constants associated with these reactions in an optical biosensor: an instrument in which ligand molecules are convected through a flow cell, over a surface to which other receptors are immobilized. Certain surface-receptor couplings have been shown to lead to a heterogenous receptor population on the sensor surface; this can obscure measurements of kinetic rate constants. We quantify the effects of a heterogenous receptor population on ligand binding, and derive a set of nonlinear differential equations which can be used to estimate rate constants from biosensor data.
Journal of Mathematical Biology


Biochemistry, Optical biosensors, Kinetic rate constants, Integrodifferential equations, Perturbation methods, Numerical methods


Edwards, D. and Evans, R. (2017), Receptor heterogeneity in optical biosensors, Journal of Mathematical Biology, [online],, (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created July 12, 2017, Updated October 12, 2021