Stretching of surface-tethered polymers in pressure-driven flow under confinement†
We study the effect of pressure-driven flow on a single surface-tethered DNA molecule confined between parallel surfaces. The influence of flow and channel parameters as well as the length of the molecules on their extension and orientation is explored. In the experiments the chain conformations are imaged by laser scanning confocal microscopy. We find that the fractional extension of the tethered DNA molecules mainly depends on the wall shear stress, with effects of confinement being very weak. Experiments performed with molecules of different contour length show that the fractional extension is a universal function of the product of the wall shear stress and the contour length, a result that can be obtained from a simple scaling relation. The experimental results are in good agreement with results from coarse-grained molecular dynamics/Lattice-Boltzmann simulations.