What can we learn from theoretical modeling of polymers interacting with membranes?
Oct 20, 2010
3:20PM to 4:20PM
Date(s) - 20/10/2010
3:20 pm - 4:20 pm
Title: What can we learn from theoretical modeling of polymers interacting with membranes?
Speaker: Dr. Jeff Chen – University of Waterloo
Institute: University of Waterloo
Location: ABB 102
Models of self-avoiding polymer chains and fluctuating two-dimensional surfaces have been widely used to provide fundamental understanding of the physical properties of a large variety of synthetic and biological systems. In soft materials (in particular biological materials), linear macromolecules (such as DNA and proteins) and fluctuating surface objects (such as lipid vesicles and cell membranes) are known to coexist and interact with each other. The implications of the interaction between biological polymers and membranes are not only modification of their own physical properties, but sometimes also the yield of profound structural and dynamical properties that are otherwise impossible.
We discuss the structure of systems consisting of polymers that interact with soft membranes, either by simple confinement or an attraction. We show that a number of characteristically different phases exist depending on the phenomenological parameters in the Helfrich model describing membrane properties as well as other basic parameters that describe polymer properties. Results were obtained from Monte Carlo simulations of the systems.