Role of conformational entropy in force-induced bio-polymer unfolding
by Professor Anthony Guttmann
Abstract: A statistical mechanical description of flexible and semiflexible polymer chains in a poor solvent is developed in the constant-force and constant-distance ensembles. We predict the existence of many intermediate states at low temperatures stabilized by the force. A unified response
of pulling and compressing force has been obtained in the constant-distance ensemble. We show the signature of a cross-over length which increases linearly with the chain length. Below this cross-over length, the critical force of unfolding decreases with temperature, while above, it increases with temperature. For stiff chains, we report for the first time a â€˜saw-toothâ€™ like behavior in the force-extension curves which has been seen earlier in the case of protein unfolding.
For More Information: Dr. Iwan Jensen Phone: +61 3 8344 5214 I.Jensen@ms.unimelb.edu.au