Statistics of confined polymers and the melting of a DNA spoolD. Marenduzzo
SUPA, School of Physics, University of Edinburgh - Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK, EU
received 19 August 2008; accepted in final form 18 December 2008; published February 2009
published online 13 February 2009
Using Monte Carlo simulations, we analyse the statistical properties of a semiflexible polymer strongly confined in space into an ellipsoidal hull. We show evidence of a sharp crossover or of a phase transition, between ordered structures such as spools, and disordered ones, as a function of the persistence length of the chain. We discuss our results in relation to the packing of double-stranded DNA molecules inside bacteriophage capsids, a biological system which our results suggest is positioned close to the crossover/transition point.
87.15.B- - Structure of biomolecules.
87.14.gk - DNA.
64.70.mf - Theory and modeling of specific liquid crystal transitions, including computer simulation.
© EPLA 2009