Describing the diffusion of particles through crowded, confined environments with which they can interact is of considerable biological and technological interest. Under conditions where the confinement dimensions become comparable to the particle dimensions, steric interactions between particles, as well as particle-wall interactions, will play a crucial role in determining transport properties. To elucidate the effects of these interactions on particle transport, we consider the diffusion and binding of finite-size particles within a channel whose diameter is comparable to the size of the particles. Using a simple lattice model of this process, we calculate the steady-state current and density profiles of both bound and free particles in the channel. We show that the system can exhibit qualitatively different behavior depending on the ratio of the channel width to the particle size. We also perform simulations of this system and find excellent agreement with our analytic results.
Physics Review E