Segregation of Polymers in Confined Spaces

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Liu, Ya
Chakraborty, Bulbul
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Abstract
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We investigate the motion of two overlapping polymers with self-avoidance confined in a narrow 2d box. A statistical model is constructed using blob free-energy arguments. We find spontaneous segregation under the condition: $L > R_{//}$, and mixing under $L < R_{//}$, where L is the length of the box, and $R_{//}$ the polymer extension in an infinite slit. Segregation time scales are determined by solving a mean first-passage time problem, and by performing Monte Carlo simulations. Predictions of the two methods show good agreement. Our results may elucidate a driving force for chromosomes segregation in bacteria.
Keywords
Physics - Biological Physics, Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter
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