Simulation study of the transport properties of ions through ion channels serving as primary components of a nanobiosensor

Document Type : Reasearch Paper


1 Department of Physics, NIT Durgapur, West Bengal, India.

2 Centre for Nanoscience and Technology, Pondicherry Central University, Kalapet, Puducherry-605014, India.



Ion channels are naturally occurring pores through the proteins that regulate the passage of ions and thus maintain the concentration of ions inside and outside the cell. The ion channels control many physiological functions and they can show selectivity for a specific ion. Ion channels are mostly observed in nerve cells and muscle cells. The influx of ions into cells can be regulated by a gate, like voltage controlled gate. Here we have investigated the ion transport through an ion channel by Poisson-Nernst-Plank model. In this model, proteins are approximated as cylindrical tubes embedded in a lipid membrane. Different ion channels with different channel radii are taken into consideration. The electrostatic potential, ion concentrations, ion flux and ion current are found. Simulation of ion channel is of vital importance in preparing biosensor where the molecular switching mechanism of ion-channel can regulate the flow of a particular ion in an analyte, if detected. The ion channels show voltage-current relationship similar to that of diodes and transistors. A major challenge in nanomedicine is the quick detection of antigens causing a disease and thus the finding of a novel commercial technique (better than ELISA) is essential. Towards this aim, a nanobiosensor can be devised where an ion-channel may serve as its primary component.