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Polymers 2017, 9(8), 349; doi:10.3390/polym9080349

Ring Polymers: Threadings, Knot Electrophoresis and Topological Glasses

SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Peter Guthrie Tait Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FD, UK
Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Sezione INFN, Università di Padova, Via Marzolo 8, 35131 Padova, Italy
Department of Physics and Centre for Complexity Science, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 July 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 August 2017 / Published: 8 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knotted and Catenated Polymers)
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Elucidating the physics of a concentrated suspension of ring polymers, or of an ensemble of ring polymers in a complex environment, is an important outstanding question in polymer physics. Many of the characteristic features of these systems arise due to topological interactions between polymers, or between the polymers and the environment, and it is often challenging to describe this quantitatively. Here we review recent research which suggests that a key role is played by inter-ring threadings (or penetrations), which become more abundant as the ring size increases. As we discuss, the physical consequences of such threadings are far-reaching: for instance, they lead to a topologically-driven glassy behaviour of ring polymer melts under pinning perturbations, while they can also account for the shape of experimentally observed patterns in two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of DNA knots. View Full-Text
Keywords: ring polymers; knots; electrophoresis; topological interactions; topological glass ring polymers; knots; electrophoresis; topological interactions; topological glass

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Michieletto, D.; Marenduzzo, D.; Orlandini, E.; Turner, M.S. Ring Polymers: Threadings, Knot Electrophoresis and Topological Glasses. Polymers 2017, 9, 349.

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