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Journal Article

Collective THz dynamics in living Escherichia coli cells


Jasnin,  M.
Baumeister, Wolfgang / Molecular Structural Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Sebastiani, F., Orecchini, A., Paciaroni, A., Jasnin, M., Zaccai, G., Moulin, M., et al. (2013). Collective THz dynamics in living Escherichia coli cells. CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 424, 84-88. doi:10.1016/j.chemphys.2013.06.020.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-D1A1-1
We have employed neutron Brillouin spectroscopy to study coherent collective density fluctuations in the biological macromolecular components of living Escherichia coli cells. To highlight the contribution of the macromolecular material alone, a suitably prepared mixture of light and heavy water was exploited to cancel the scattering length of intracellular water. The present results indicate that the cellular biomaterial sustains THz coherent density fluctuations, characterised by a propagating mode travelling at about 3600 m/s and by a localised mode at energies between 4 and 7 meV. A comparison with both hydration water and simpler biomolecules, such as proteins or DNA, brings further support to the idea that the dynamical coupling between biomolecular structures and biological water provides the delicate dynamical adaptation needed to achieve a full biological functionality. Finally, the behaviour of the damping factors of the observed collective modes strengthens the dynamical similarity of biological systems with glass-forming materials. (C) 2013 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.