2-7 June 2019
Simon Fraser University
America/Vancouver timezone
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Orientationally ordered states of a wormlike chain inside spherical confinement

4 Jun 2019, 15:45
15m
ASB 10900 (Simon Fraser University)

ASB 10900

Simon Fraser University

Oral (Non-Student) / Orale (non-étudiant(e)) Symposia Day - Soft Matter Canada 2019 T4-1 Soft Matter PM-2 (DCMMP) | Matière molle PM-2 (DPMCM)

Speaker

Jeff Z. Y. Chen (University of Waterloo)

Description

One of the basic characteristics of linear dsDNA molecules is its persistence length, typically of order 50 nanometers. The DNA chain inflicts a large energy penalty if it is bent sharply at that length scale. Viruses of bacteria, known as bacteriophage, typically have a dimension of a few tens of nanometers, of similar order of the magnitude as the DNA persistence length. Yet, it is known that a bacteriophage actively packages viral DNA inside the capsid and ejects it afterwards. The packaging process works under some extreme physical conditions: reduction of the DNA overall conformational entropy, competition between the persistence length and the capsid's size, and the relatively crowded density inside a packaged capsid to accommodate a long DNA chain. Here, adopting a commonly used polymer model known as the wormlike chain, we answer an idealized question: placing a linear DNA molecule inside a spherical cavity, what ordered states can we drive from known tools in statistical physics? Solving the model in a rigorous field-theory framework, we report a universal phase diagram for four orientationally ordered and disordered states, in terms of two relevant physical parameters.

Primary author

Jeff Z. Y. Chen (University of Waterloo)

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