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Linear and non-linear dynamics of semiflexible filaments


Snapshot from an animation of a DNA molecule going through a pore (see movie silv_dive.mpg).

We are interested in simulating linear dynamics and nonlinear flow behavior of inextensible, semiflexible Brownian filaments. We have explained how semiflexible chains can buckle in shear and how this process differs from that of non-Brownian filaments. We have studied the collapse and buckling of a semiflexible chain from extended structures to tori and racquet-heads caused by the transition from good to bad solvent. By combining Brownian Dynamics and analytical theory, we have determined the scaling laws that control whether a semiflexible chain will buckle in shear flows. In collaboration with Profs. Clementi and Kolomeisky, we have also investigated how flexible and semiflexible chains move through nanopores.