Bandpass Filtering of DNA Elastic Modes Using Confinement and Tension

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Abstract

During a variety of biological and technological processes, biopolymers are simultaneously subject to both confinement and external forces. Although significant efforts have gone into understanding the physics of polymers that are only confined, or only under tension, little work has been done to explore the effects of the interplay of force and confinement. Here, we study the combined effects of stretching and confinement on a polymer’s configurational freedom. We measure the elastic response of long double-stranded DNA molecules that are partially confined to thin, nanofabricated slits. We account for the data through a model in which the DNA’s short-wavelength transverse elastic modes are cut off by applied force and the DNA’s bending stiffness, whereas long-wavelength modes are cut off by confinement. Thus, we show that confinement and stretching combine to permit tunable bandpass filtering of the elastic modes of long polymers.

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  • Biophysics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-100
JournalBiophysical Journal
Volume102
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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