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Paper   IPM / Physic / 14086
School of Physics
  Title:   Dissipative Vibrational Model for Chiral Recognition in Olfaction
  Author(s): 
1.  A. Tirandaz
2.  F. Taher Ghahramani
3.  A. Shafiee
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Phys. Rev. E
  Vol.:  92
  Year:  2015
  Pages:   032724
  Supported by:  IPM
  Abstract:
We examine the olfactory discrimination of left- and right-handed enantiomers of chiral odorants based on the odorant-mediated electron transport from a donor to an acceptor embodied in a biological environment. The chiral odorant is effectively described by an asymmetric double-well potential and the biological environment is modeled as a bath of harmonic oscillators. The resulting Spin-Boson model is used to derive a Born-Markov master equation with which we obtain the elastic and inelastic electron tunneling rates. We show that the (in)elastic electron tunneling from left- and right-handed enantiomers of chiral odorants occurs with different rates. The discrimination mechanism strongly depends on the ratio of tunneling frequency to localization frequency.

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