PT - JOURNAL ARTICLE
AU - Wang, Jiajun
AU - Lapinski, Nicole
AU - Zhang, X. Frank
AU - Jagota, Anand
TI - Adhesive Contact Between Cylindrical (Ebola) and Spherical (SARS-CoV-2) Viral Particles and a Cell Membrane
AID - 10.1101/2020.06.26.173567
DP - 2020 Jan 01
TA - bioRxiv
PG - 2020.06.26.173567
4099 - http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2020/06/26/2020.06.26.173567.short
4100 - http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2020/06/26/2020.06.26.173567.full
AB - A critical event during the process of cell infection by a viral particle is attachment, which is driven by adhesive interactions and resisted by bending and tension. The biophysics of this process has been studied extensively but the additional role of externally applied force or displacement has generally been neglected. In this work we study the adhesive force-displacement response of viral particles against a cell membrane. We have built two models: one in which the viral particle is cylindrical (say, representative of filamentous virus such as Ebola) and another in which it is spherical (such as SARS-CoV-2 and Zika). Our interest is in initial adhesion, in which case deformations are small and the mathematical model for the system can be simplified considerably. The parameters that characterize the process combine into two dimensionless groups that represent normalized membrane bending stiffness and tension. In the limit where bending dominates, for sufficiently large values of normalized bending stiffness, there is no adhesion between viral particles and the cell membrane without applied force. (The zero-external-force contact width and pull-off force are both zero.) For large values of normalized membrane tension, the adhesion between virus and cell membrane is weak but stable. (The contact width at zero external force has a small value.) Our results for pull-off force and zero force contact width help to quantify conditions that could aid the development of therapies based on denying the virus entry into the cell by blocking its initial adhesion.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.