Confined space and effective interactions of multiple self-avoiding chains
Phys. Rev. Lett. , Volume 98 - Issue Article number: 128303 p. 1- 4
We study the link between three seeming-disparate cases of self-avoiding polymers: strongly overlapping multiple chains in dilute solution, chains under spherical confinement, and the onset of semidilute solutions. Our main result is that the free energy for overlapping n chains is independent of chain length and scales as n9=4, slowly crossing over to n3, as n increases. For strongly confined polymers inside a spherical cavity, we show that rearranging the chains does not cost an additional free energy. Our results imply that, during cell cycle, global reorganization of eukaryotic chromosomes in a large cell nucleus could be readily achieved.