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Adsorption of a Helical Filament Subject to Thermal Fluctuations

Abstract : 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 ⟨z2⟩ . 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
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Submitted on : Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - 6:41:52 PM
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M.-K. Chae, Y. Kim, A. Johner, N.-K. Lee. Adsorption of a Helical Filament Subject to Thermal Fluctuations. Polymers, MDPI, 2020, Theory of Polymers at Interfaces, 12 (1), pp.192. ⟨10.3390/polym12010192⟩. ⟨hal-02992563⟩

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