Probing structural and dynamical transitions in polymer globules by force

Charles E. Sing, Thomas R. Einert, Roland R. Netz, Alfredo Alexander-Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dynamics of proteins and biopolymers play a crucial role in their function. By using Brownian dynamics we show that polymer globules, which serve as a model system for proteins, undergo a size-dependent dynamical transition from a liquid-like state at high T to a frozen state at low T with a relaxation time that diverges at the transition point. Furthermore, a stretch-induced melting transition is shown to be readily controlled by external forces that exploit the polymer connectivity to modify the size of the globule. This pathway could be a general route to enhance the rate of conformational changes in naturally occurring biopolymers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number040801
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 11 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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