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Open AccessArticle

Adsorption of a Helical Filament Subject to Thermal Fluctuations

by M.-K. Chae 1, Y. Kim 1, A. Johner 2,* and N.-K. Lee 1,2,*
1
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Korea
2
Institute Charles Sadron, CNRS 23 Rue du Loess, 67034 Strasbourg CEDEX 2, France
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010192
Received: 2 December 2019 / Revised: 2 January 2020 / Accepted: 5 January 2020 / Published: 10 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theory of Polymers at Interfaces)
We consider semiflexible chains governed by preferred curvature and twist and their flexural and twist moduli. These filaments possess a helical rather than straight three-dimensional (3D) ground state and we call them helical filaments (H-filament). Depending on the moduli, the helical shape may be smeared by thermal fluctuations. Secondary superhelical structures are expected to form on top of the specific local structure of biofilaments, as is documented for vimentin. We study confinement and adsorption of helical filaments utilizing both a combination of numerical simulations and analytical theory. We investigate overall chain shapes, transverse chain fluctuations, loop and tail distributions, and energy distributions along the chain together with the mean square average height of the monomers z 2 . The number fraction of adsorbed monomers serves as an order parameter for adsorption. Signatures of adsorbed helical polymers are the occurrence of 3D helical loops/tails and spiral or wavy quasi-flat shapes. None of these arise for the Worm-Like-Chain, whose straight ground state can be embedded in a plane. View Full-Text
Keywords: semiflexible polymers; polymers at interfaces; biopolymers; helical filaments; adsorption semiflexible polymers; polymers at interfaces; biopolymers; helical filaments; adsorption
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chae, M.-K.; Kim, Y.; Johner, A.; Lee, N.-K. Adsorption of a Helical Filament Subject to Thermal Fluctuations. Polymers 2020, 12, 192.

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