Journal of Computer-Aided Materials Design

, Volume 14, Supplement 1, pp 95–101 | Cite as

Analytical results for the plectonemic response of supercoiled DNA

  • Nicolas Clauvelin
  • Basile Audoly
  • Sébastien Neukirch


The DNA molecule is modeled as an elastic rod with bending and twisting rigidities, subjected to external tension and twist applied at one end, the other end being clamped. We study the plectonemic equilibrium of such a rod, taking into account the impenetrability constraint. Numerical solutions of this boundary value problem have previously shown that purely elastic models can reproduce the supercoiling response of the DNA molecule. Using a variational approach, we derive analytical formulae for the elastic response of the filament, and extend former numerical results.


DNA supercoiling Twist storing polymer Elastic rods 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolas Clauvelin
    • 1
  • Basile Audoly
    • 2
  • Sébastien Neukirch
    • 2
  1. 1.UMR 7190, Institut Jean le Rond d’AlembertUPMC Univ Paris 06 and CNRSParisFrance
  2. 2.UMR 7190, Institut Jean le Rond d’AlembertCNRS and UPMC Univ Paris 06ParisFrance

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