Europhys. Lett.
Volume 64, Number 3, November 2003
Page(s) 413 - 419
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 01 November 2003
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-00218-2
Europhys. Lett., 64 (3) , pp. 413-419 (2003)

Interactions between polyelectrolyte-macroion complexes

H. Boroudjerdi and R. R. Netz

Sektion Physik, LMU - Theresienstr. 37, 80333 München, Germany

(Received 19 June 2003; accepted in final form 20 August 2003)

We consider structures formed by one semiflexible polyelectrolyte (PE) and one oppositely charged sphere and calculate the interaction between two such complexes within the ground-state approximation, where the PE assumes its optimal configuration. Using parameters appropriate for DNA-histone systems, we find the second virial coefficient of inter-complex interactions to be negative for intermediate salt concentrations within the range where stable complexes are formed, in agreement with experiments. A simple screened monopole-dipole model reproduces these findings.

87.15.-v - Biomolecules: structure and physical properties.
82.70.-y - Disperse systems; complex fluids.
61.25.Hq - Macromolecular and polymer solutions; polymer melts; swelling.

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