Electro-entropic excluded volume effects on DNA looping and relaxation in nanochannels

Yeng-Long Chen
Biomicrofluidics 2013, 7 (5): 54119
We investigate the fluctuation-relaxation dynamics of entropically restricted DNA molecules in square nanochannels ranging from 0.09 to 19.9 times the persistence length. In nanochannels smaller than the persistence length, the chain relaxation time is found to have cubic dependence on the channel size. It is found that the effective polymer width significantly alter the chain conformation and relaxation time in strong confinement. For thinner chains, looped chain configurations are found in channels with height comparable to the persistence length, with very slow relaxation compared to un-looped chains. Larger effective chain widths inhibit the formation of hairpin loops.

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