Entangled polymer dynamics beyond reptation

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Macroscopic properties of polymers arise from microscopic entanglement of polymer chains. Entangled polymer dynamics have been described theoretically by time- and space-averaged relaxation modes of single chains occurring at different time and length scales. However, theoretical and experimental studies along this framework provide oversimplified picture of spatiotemporally heterogeneous polymer dynamics. Characterization of entangled polymer dynamics beyond this paradigm requires a method that enables to capture motion and relaxation occurring in real space at different length and time scales. Here we develop new single-molecule characterization platform by combining super-resolution fluorescence imaging and recently developed single-molecule tracking method, cumulative-area tracking, which enables to quantify the chain motion in the length and time scale of nanometres to micrometres and milliseconds to minutes. Using linear and cyclic dsDNA molecules as model systems, our new method reveals chain-position-dependent motion of the entangled linear chains, which is beyond the scope of current theoretical framework.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 30 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2015-2646-CRG4
Acknowledgements: The research reported in this publication was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the KAUST Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under Award No. OSR-2015-2646-CRG4.


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