Analysis and application of a free energy model for lens protein mixtures

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Title: Analysis and application of a free energy model for lens protein mixtures
Author: Bell, Michael
Abstract: Cataract, the leading cause of blindness worldwide, has motivated a variety of investigations into the behavior of concentrated mixtures of eye lens proteins. While there has been success in modeling single protein solutions, a convenient model for mixtures is needed. We apply an analytically solvable sticky-hard sphere model to aqueous mixtures of alpha and gamma crystallin, two of the predominant proteins found in the mammalian eye lens. Developed by Baxter and Barboy, this model incorporates some of the fundamental characteristics of realistic mixtures, namely, variation in size and intermolecular attraction strength among each component. We show that light scattering intensities reconstructed from the model are in semi-quantitative agreement with experimental data. Our analysis of the model includes convenient algebraic reformulation for quantities used in light scattering expressions and using a parameter homotopy continuation method to solve a system of coupled quadratic equations arising in the model. Additionally, we derive analytic expressions for the second and third virial coefficients for the multicomponent sticky sphere potential, which describe the two and three body particle interactions, respectively.
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Date: 2012-09

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