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Publication Detail
Bistable collective behavior of polymers tethered in a nanopore
Abstract
Polymer-coated pores play a crucial role in nucleo-cytoplasmic transport and in a number of biomimetic and nanotechnological applications. Here we present Monte Carlo and Density Functional Theory approaches to identify different collective phases of end-grafted polymers in a nanopore and to study their relative stability as a function of intermolecular interactions. Over a range of system parameters that is relevant for nuclear pore complexes, we observe two distinct phases: one with the bulk of the polymers condensed at the wall of the pore, and the other with the polymers condensed along its central axis. The relative stability of these two phases depends on the interpolymer interactions. The existence of the two phases suggests a transport mechanism in which marginal changes in these interactions, possibly induced by nuclear transport receptors, cause the pore to transform between open and closed configurations.
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Research Department of Infection
Dept of Physics & Astronomy
University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

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