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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2010 Jul;82(1 Pt 1):011913. Epub 2010 Jul 19.

Subdiffusive motion of a polymer composed of subdiffusive monomers.

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Department of Biochemistry and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


We use Brownian dynamics simulations and analytical theory to investigate the physical principles underlying subdiffusive motion of a polymer. Specifically, we examine the consequences of confinement, self-interaction, viscoelasticity, and random waiting on monomer motion, as these physical phenomena may be relevant to the behavior of biological macromolecules in vivo. We find that neither confinement nor self-interaction alter the fundamental Rouse mode relaxations of a polymer. However, viscoelasticity, modeled by fractional Langevin motion, and random waiting, modeled with a continuous time random walk, lead to significant and distinct deviations from the classic polymer-dynamics model. Our results provide diagnostic tools--the monomer mean square displacement scaling and the velocity autocorrelation function--that can be applied to experimental data to determine the underlying mechanism for subdiffusive motion of a polymer.

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