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Polymers 2016, 8(8), 304;

Conformational Properties of Active Semiflexible Polymers

Theoretical Soft Matter and Biophysics, Institute of Complex Systems and Institute for Advanced Simulation, Forschungszentrum Jülich, D-52425 Jülich, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martin Kröger
Received: 29 June 2016 / Revised: 3 August 2016 / Accepted: 4 August 2016 / Published: 12 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semiflexible Polymers)
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The conformational properties of flexible and semiflexible polymers exposed to active noise are studied theoretically. The noise may originate from the interaction of the polymer with surrounding active (Brownian) particles or from the inherent motion of the polymer itself, which may be composed of active Brownian particles. In the latter case, the respective monomers are independently propelled in directions changing diffusively. For the description of the polymer, we adopt the continuous Gaussian semiflexible polymer model. Specifically, the finite polymer extensibility is taken into account, which turns out to be essential for the polymer conformations. Our analytical calculations predict a strong dependence of the relaxation times on the activity. In particular, semiflexible polymers exhibit a crossover from a bending elasticity-dominated dynamics to the flexible polymer dynamics with increasing activity. This leads to a significant activity-induced polymer shrinkage over a large range of self-propulsion velocities. For large activities, the polymers swell and their extension becomes comparable to the contour length. The scaling properties of the mean square end-to-end distance with respect to the polymer length and monomer activity are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: semiflexible polymer; active Brownian particle; active polymer; polymer conformations; polymer dynamics semiflexible polymer; active Brownian particle; active polymer; polymer conformations; polymer dynamics

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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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Eisenstecken, T.; Gompper, G.; Winkler, R.G. Conformational Properties of Active Semiflexible Polymers. Polymers 2016, 8, 304.

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