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Phys Biol. 2009 Jul 1;6(2):025012. doi: 10.1088/1478-3975/6/2/025012.

The size of knots in polymers.

Author information

1
Dipartimento di Fisica and CNR-INFM, Università di Padova, I-35131, Padova, Italy.

Abstract

Circular DNA in viruses and bacteria is often knotted. While mathematically problematic, the determination of the knot size is crucial for the study of the physical and biological behaviour of long macromolecules. Here, we review work on the size distribution of these knots under equilibrium conditions. We discuss knot localization in good and poor solvents, or in polymers that are adsorbed on a surface. We also discuss recent evidence that knot size is a crucial quantity in relaxation processes of knotted polymers.

PMID:
19571370
DOI:
10.1088/1478-3975/6/2/025012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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