Dissecting the selection criteria of mucus using short peptides
Mucus is a selectively permeable hydrogel that protects epithelia from pathogens, while permitting the passage of helpful agents. The selection criteria of mucus are not well understood, preventing us from predicting the transport of pathogens and limiting our ability to design drugs that penetrate through mucus. Natural substrates that diffuse through mucus are composed of complex arrangements of charge and hydrophobicity. Inspired by this, we characterize the combined impact of charge and hydrophobicity on the transport of peptides in mucus.