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Local entropic effects of polymers grafted to soft interfaces


In this paper, we study the equilibrium properties of polymer chains end-tethered to a fluid membrane. The loss of conformational entropy of the polymer results in an inhomogeneous pressure field that we calculate for Gaussian chains. We estimate the effects of excluded volume through a relation between pressure and concentration. Under the polymer pressure, a soft surface will deform. We calculate the deformation profile for a fluid membrane and show that close to the grafting point, this profile assumes a cone-like shape, independently of the boundary conditions. Interactions between different polymers are also mediated by the membrane deformation. This pair-additive potential is attractive for chains grafted on the same side of the membrane and repulsive otherwise.

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Received 20 April 2000

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Bickel, T., Jeppesen, C. & Marques, C. Local entropic effects of polymers grafted to soft interfaces. Eur. Phys. J. E 4, 33–43 (2001).

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  • PACS. 36.20.-r Macromolecules and polymer molecules - 87.15.He Dynamics and conformational changes - 87.16.Dg Membranes, bilayers, and vesicles.