Theoretical modeling of polymer translocation: From the electrohydrodynamics of short polymers to the fluctuating long polymers

Sahin Buyukdagli*, Jalal Sarabadani, Tapio Ala-Nissila

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The theoretical formulation of driven polymer translocation through nanopores is complicated by the combination of the pore electrohydrodynamics and the nonequilibrium polymer dynamics originating from the conformational polymer fluctuations. In this review, we discuss the modeling of polymer translocation in the distinct regimes of short and long polymers where these two effects decouple. For the case of short polymers where polymer fluctuations are negligible, we present a stiffpolymer model including the details of the electrohydrodynamic forces on the translocating molecule. We first show that the electrohydrodynamic theory can accurately characterize the hydrostatic pressure dependence of the polymer translocation velocity and time in pressure-voltage-driven polymer trapping experiments. Then, we discuss the electrostatic correlation mechanisms responsible for the experimentally observed DNA mobility inversion by added multivalent cations in solid-state pores, and the rapid growth of polymer capture rates by added monovalent salt in a-Hemolysin pores. In the opposite regime of long polymers where polymer fluctuations prevail, we review the iso-flux tension propagation (IFTP) theory, which can characterize the translocation dynamics at the level of single segments. The IFTP theory is valid for a variety of polymer translocation and pulling scenarios. We discuss the predictions of the theory for fully flexible and rodlike pore-driven and end-pulled translocation scenarios, where exact analytic results can be derived for the scaling of the translocation time with chain length and driving force.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118
Number of pages25
JournalPolymers
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2019
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Keywords

  • Charge screening
  • Dielectric membranes
  • Electrostatic interactions
  • Polymer translocation

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