Berardo Manzi

COMPUTER SIMULATIONS OF RED BLOOD CELLS AND PROTEINS INTERACTING WITH NANOSTRUCTURED SURFACES

Physical properties of antimicrobial surfaces have studied using two different theoretical models. The first approach, Random Sequential Adsorption (RSA), describes the first step of any foreign entity entering the human body: protein adsorption. We demonstrate that the bactericidal properties of nanostructured surfaces are not compromised upon colonisation of the most abundant protein in blood, Human Serum Albumin. For this purpose, we develop an extension to RSA to deal with complex geometries, and use it to test several different model surfaces.
The second approach studies the actual interaction of cells with said surfaces. We use Coarse-grained Molecular Dynamics to investigate Red Blood Cells, which represent an optimal compromise between computational simplicity and realistic modelling, in addition to be cause of concern for the applicability of antimicrobial surfaces in medicine, due to the membrane rupture observed in experiments. We demonstrate that the rupture is not caused by the piercing of the peaks on the surfaces, but rather by the important deformations leading to over-extension. This effect can be diminished by varying the design of the surfaces, in particular their dimensions.

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