• N.M. Toan, D. Marenduzzo and C. Micheletti
    Inferring the diameter of a biopolymer from its stretching response
    Biophysical Journal 89 80-86 (2005)
    Link to online article.
    We investigate the stretching response of a thick polymer model by means of extensive stochastic simulations. The computational results are synthesized in an analytic expression that characterizes how the force versus elongation curve depends on the polymer structural parameters: its thickness and granularity (spacing of the monomers). The expression is used to analyze experimental data for the stretching of various different types of biopolymers: polypeptides, polysaccharides and nucleic acids. Besides recovering elastic parameters (such as the persistence length) that are consistent with those obtained from standard entropic models, the approach allows to extract viable estimates for the polymers diameter and granularity. This shows that the basic structural polymer features have such a profound impact on the elastic behaviour that they can be recovered with the sole input of stretching measurements.