Europhys. Lett.
Volume 68, Number 5, December 2004
Page(s) 746 - 752
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 05 November 2004
Europhys. Lett., 68 (5), pp. 746-752 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10279-1

Periodically driven stochastic un- and refolding transitions of biopolymers

O. Braun and U. Seifert

II. Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Stuttgart - 70550 Stuttgart, Germany

received 2 August 2004; accepted in final form 12 October 2004
published online 5 November 2004

Mechanical single-molecule experiments probe the energy profile of biomolecules. We show that in the case of a profile with two minima (like folded/unfolded), periodic driving leads to a stochastic resonance-like phenomenon. We demonstrate that the analysis of such data can be used to extract four basic parameters of such a transition and discuss the statistical requirements of the data acquisition. As advantages of the proposed scheme, a polymeric linker is explicitly included and thermal fluctuations within each well need not be resolved.

87.15.-v - Biomolecules: structure and physical properties.
87.64.Dz - Scanning tunneling and atomic force microscopy.

© EDP Sciences 2004