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Journal Article

Elastic response of DNA to external electric fields in two dimensions


Maier,  B.
MPI for Polymer Research, Max Planck Society;


Rädler,  Joachim O.
MPI for Polymer Research, Max Planck Society;

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Maier, B., Seifert, U., & Rädler, J. O. (2002). Elastic response of DNA to external electric fields in two dimensions. Europhysics Letters, 60(4), 622-628.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-64B6-E
We investigate the elastic response of a single DNA molecule to an external electric field in two dimensions. DNA is tethered at one extremity to a solid support, confined to two dimensions by the electrostatic interaction with a fluid lipid membrane and directly visualized by fluorescence microscopy. The end-to- end distance of electrophoretically stretched DNA elongates with increasing field strength in good agreement with the worm- like chain model for semiflexible chains adapted to two dimensions. We obtain an effective charge of 0.6 e/nm. The time average contour of the stretched molecule shows a trumpet-like vertical broadening due to thermal fluctuations. Alignment of the membrane-bound DNA is reversible. The relaxation of the end-to-end distance from a highly stretched state follows a scaling behavior with a scaling exponent of 0.46 +/- 0.8 as expected for diffusive shortening.