JOURNAL ARTICLE

Scaling theory of DNA confined in nanochannels and nanoslits

Theo Odijk
Physical Review. E, Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics 2008, 77 (6): 060901
18643207
A scaling analysis is presented of the statistics of long DNA confined in nanochannels and nanoslits. It is argued that there are several regimes in between the de Gennes and Odijk limits introduced long ago. The DNA chain folds back on itself giving rise to a global persistence length that may be very large owing to entropic deflection. Moreover, there is an orientational excluded-volume effect between the DNA segments imposed solely by the nanoconfinement. These two effects cause the chain statistics to be intricate leading to nontrivial power laws for the chain extension in the intermediate regimes. It is stressed that DNA confinement within nanochannels differs from that in nanoslits because the respective orientational excluded-volume effects are not the same.

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