Polymer- and salt-induced toroids of hexagonal DNA

J. Ubbink, T. Odijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


A model is proposed for polymer- and salt-induced toroidal condensates of DNA, based on a recent theory of the undulation enhancement of the electrostatic interaction in the bulk hexagonal phase of semiflexible polyions. In a continuum approximation, the thermodynamic potential of a monomolecular toroid may be split up in bulk, surface, and curvature contributions. With the help of an approximate analytical minimization procedure, the optimal torus dimensions are calculated as a function of the concentrations of inert polymer and added salt. The stability of the torus is analyzed in terms of its surface tension and a bulk melting criterion. The theory should be applicable to psi-toroids that are not too thick.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-61
Number of pages8
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


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