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Single-channel conductance measurements in biological pores have demonstrated the importance of interfacial effects in nanopores, particularly in protein channels with low aspect ratio (length over aperture radius). Access resistance (AR), the contribution to the total measured resistance arising from the electrodiffusive limitation that ions experience in passing from bulk solution to confinement within the pore, becomes essential in the description of ionic transport across these biological channels. Common analytical estimates of AR are based on idealized nanopore models, cylindrical in shape, electrically neutral and embedded in a neutral substrate. Here we calculate the AR of five protein channels by using their atomic structure and a mean-field approach based on solving 3D Poisson and Nernst-Planck equations. Our approach accounts for the influence of the protein charged ionizable residues, the geometry of the pore mouth and the ion concentration gradients near the pore. We compare numerical calculations with the few available AR measurements and show for several protein channels that analytical predictions tend to overestimate AR for physiological concentrations and below. We also discuss the relationship between AR and the size of the channel aperture in single-pore channels and three-pore channels and demonstrate that in the latter case, there is an enhancement of AR.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Bioelectrochemistry (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
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