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Issue 18, 2011
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Model systems for single molecule polymer dynamics

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Abstract

Double stranded DNA (dsDNA) has long served as a model system for single molecule polymer dynamics. However, dsDNA is a semiflexible polymer, and the structural rigidity of the DNA double helix gives rise to local molecular properties and chain dynamics that differ from flexible chains, including synthetic organic polymers. Recently, we developed single stranded DNA (ssDNA) as a new model system for single molecule studies of flexible polymer chains. In this work, we discuss model polymer systems in the context of “ideal” and “real” chain behavior considering thermal blobs, tension blobs, hydrodynamic drag and force–extension relations. In addition, we present monomer aspect ratio as a key parameter describing chain conformation and dynamics, and we derive dynamical scaling relations in terms of this molecular-level parameter. We show that asymmetric Kuhn segments can suppress monomer–monomer interactions, thereby altering global chain dynamics. Finally, we discuss ssDNA in the context of a new model system for single molecule polymer dynamics. Overall, we anticipate that future single polymer studies of flexible chains will reveal new insight into the dynamic behavior of “real” polymers, which will highlight the importance of molecular individualism and the prevalence of non-linear phenomena.

Graphical abstract: Model systems for single molecule polymer dynamics

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Article information


Submitted
19 Feb 2011
Accepted
03 May 2011
First published
08 Jul 2011

Soft Matter, 2011,7, 7907-7913
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Model systems for single molecule polymer dynamics

F. Latinwo and C. M. Schroeder, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 7907
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05298E

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