The diffusion of doxorubicin drug molecules in silica nanoslits is non-Gaussian, intermittent and anticorrelated
In this study we investigate, using all-atom molecular-dynamics computer simulations, the in-plane diffusion of a doxorubicin drug molecule in a thin film of water confined between two silica surfaces. We find that the molecule diffuses along the channel in the manner of a Gaussian diffusion process, but with parameters that vary according to its varying transversal position. Our analysis identifies that four Gaussians, each describing particle motion in a given transversal region, are needed to adequately describe the data. Each of these processes by itself evolves with time at a rate slower than that associated with classical Brownian motion due to a predominance of anticorrelated displacements. Long adsorption events lead to ageing, a property observed when the diffusion is intermittently hindered for periods of time with an average duration which is theoretically infinite. This study presents a simple system in which many interesting features of anomalous diffusion can be explored. It exposes the complexity of diffusion in nanoconfinement and highlights the need to develop new understanding.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2020 PCCP HOT Articles