Theoretical studies of DNA during gel electrophoresis

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Science  13 May 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4854, pp. 922-924
DOI: 10.1126/science.3363374


A numerical study of the motion of a long-chain macromolecule in a gel has shown unexpected features. The application of a field appears to induce the chain to contract on itself. This is followed by its "unwinding" into an extended configuration. For long chains, the mobility tends toward a constant, in accord with experiments. For the parameter range used, the observed molecular motion differs strongly from assumptions made in the present theory of electrophoresis.