Article

Cascade of coil-globule conformational transitions of single flexible polyelectrolyte molecules in poor solvent.

Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden, Hohe Strasse 6, Germany.
Journal of the American Chemical Society (Impact Factor: 10.68). 12/2002; 124(45):13454-62. DOI:10.1021/ja0261168
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We show that hydrophobic flexible polyelectrolyte molecules of poly(2-vinylpyridine) and poly(methacryloyloxyethyl dimethylbenzylammonium chloride) are trapped and frozen due to adsorption on the mica surface, and the observed AFM single molecule structures reflect the molecular conformation in solution. An increase of the ionic strength of the solution induces the cascade of abrupt conformational transitions due to the intrachain segregation from elongated coil to compact globule conformations through intermediate pearl necklace-globule conformations with different amounts of beads per chain. The length of the necklaces and the number of beads decrease, while the diameter of beads increases with the increase of ionic strength. Coexistence at the same time of extended coils, necklaces with different amounts of beads, and compact globules indicates the cascade of the first-order-type phase transitions.

0 0
 · 
0 Bookmarks
 · 
42 Views
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The modern state of SFM research on polymer nano-objects including single chains is discussed in comparison with other similar high-resolution microscopy techniques. The range of problems to be solved preferentially by SFM is highlighted. Promising methodology to describe quantitatively the morphology of macromolecular objects is proposed. The main benefits of this algorithm seem to be the apparent mathematical correctness as well as the possibility to estimate errors and the confidence of the numbers obtained. Special attention is paid to the dynamic observations of conformational transitions on a substrate in real time regime. This approach allows one to realise direct control of the adsorbed macromolecules by means of exposure to different vapours. Driving forces of the vapour-induced reorganisation are discussed.
    Macromolecular Rapid Communications 05/2011; 32(16):1210-46. · 4.93 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Fundamental polymer science is undergoing a profound transformation. As a result of recent progress in macromolecular chemistry and physics, synthetic polymer chains are becoming much more than just the modest building blocks of traditional 'plastics'. Promising options for controlling the primary and secondary structures of synthetic polymers have been proposed and, therefore, similarly to biopolymers, synthetic macromolecules may now be exploited as discrete objects with carefully engineered structures and functions. Although it is not possible today to reach the high level of complexity found in biomaterials, these new chemical possibilities open interesting avenues for applications in microelectronics, photovoltaics, catalysis and biotechnology. Here, we describe in detail these recent advances in macromolecular science and emphasize the possible emergence of technologies based on single-chain devices.
    Nature Chemistry 01/2011; 3(12):917-24. · 21.76 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chitosan macromolecules can be dissolved in water saturated with CO2 under high pressure, i.e. in carbonic acid. This unique biocompatible solvent with acidity regulated by the variation of applied CO2 pressure is rather promising for biomedical applications. In this work the main features of deposition of chitosan structures on the model substrate from solutions in this media were examined. After deposition on the mica surface, the obtained structures have been successfully visualised by atomic force microscopy (AFM). It has been found out that they adsorb as rather peculiar elongated objects with an average length of about 70 nm. Such conformations are believed to appear due to amphiphilic nature of chitosan semiflexible chains in agreement with recent theoretical findings. The well-defined geometry of the elongated monodispersed structures allows them to demonstrate some elements of liquid crystalline-like ordering.
    Colloid and Polymer Science 01/2012; 290(15):1471-1480. · 2.16 Impact Factor