Revisiting blob theory for DNA diffusivity in slitlike confinement

Liang Dai, Douglas R. Tree, Johan R C Van Der Maarel, Kevin D. Dorfman, Patrick S. Doyle

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45 Scopus citations


Blob theory has been widely applied to describe polymer conformations and dynamics in nanoconfinement. In slit confinement, blob theory predicts a scaling exponent of 2/3 for polymer diffusivity as a function of slit height, yet a large body of experimental studies using DNA produce a scaling exponent significantly less than 2/3. In this work, we develop a theory that predicts that this discrepancy occurs because the segment correlation function for a semiflexible chain such as DNA does not follow the Flory exponent for length scales smaller than the persistence length. We show that these short length scale effects contribute significantly to the scaling for the DNA diffusivity, but do not appreciably affect the scalings for static properties. Our theory is fully supported by Monte Carlo simulations, quantitative agreement with DNA experiments, and the results reconcile this outstanding problem for confined polymers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number168105
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 18 2013


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