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When it comes to cell entry, being average has its advantages

Wendong Shi from Max Planck, Freund created a mathematical model that can account for this. Particle size plays a key role. According to the team's new model, cells take in viruses and other particles with a diameter of 27 to 30 nanometers more readily than ones that are larger or smaller. The faster the viruses are absorbed, the more rapidly they reproduce.

"Cells are simply optimizing the system," Freund explained. "If a particle is too big, there may not be enough receptors to bind to the virus. If it is too small, it takes too much energy to bend the cell membrane as it engulfs the invader."

When the team compared the implications of their theory to actual experimental observations with cells, they found broad agreement. "The theory is fundamentally sound ?a significant outcome," Freund said.


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Source:Brown University


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