Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

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Record number 536120
Title Electrostatic stiffening and induced persistence length for coassembled molecular bottlebrushes
Author(s) Storm, Ingeborg M.; Stuart, Martien A.C.; Vries, Renko de; Leermakers, Frans A.M.
Source Physical Review. E, Statistical nonlinear, and soft matter physics 97 (2018)3. - ISSN 2470-0045
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.97.032501
Department(s) Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter
VLAG
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Availibility Full text available from 2019-04-13
Abstract A self-consistent field analysis for tunable contributions to the persistence length of isolated semiflexible polymer chains including electrostatically driven coassembled deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) bottlebrushes is presented. When a chain is charged, i.e., for polyelectrolytes, there is, in addition to an intrinsic rigidity, an electrostatic stiffening effect, because the electric double layer resists bending. For molecular bottlebrushes, there is an induced contribution due to the grafts. We explore cases beyond the classical phantom main-chain approximation and elaborate molecularly more realistic models where the backbone has a finite volume, which is necessary for treating coassembled bottlebrushes. We find that the way in which the linear charge density or the grafting density is regulated is important. Typically, the stiffening effect is reduced when there is freedom for these quantities to adapt to the curvature stresses. Electrostatically driven coassembled bottlebrushes, however, are relatively stiff because the chains have a low tendency to escape from the compressed regions and the electrostatic binding force is largest in the convex part. For coassembled bottlebrushes, the induced persistence length is a nonmonotonic function of the polymer concentration: For low polymer concentrations, the stiffening grows quadratically with coverage; for semidilute polymer concentrations, the brush chains retract and regain their Gaussian size. When doing so, they lose their induced persistence length contribution. Our results correlate well with observed physical characteristics of electrostatically driven coassembled DNA-bioengineered protein-polymer bottlebrushes.
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