Brevia

Entropically Driven Helix Formation

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  18 Feb 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5712, pp. 1067
DOI: 10.1126/science.1106243

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Abstract

The helix is a ubiquitous motif for biopolymers. We propose a heuristic, entropically based model that predicts helix formation in a system of hard spheres and semiflexible tubes. We find that the entropy of the spheres is maximized when short stretches of the tube form a helix with a geometry close to that found in natural helices. Our model could be directly tested with wormlike micelles as the tubes, and the effect could be used to self-assemble supramolecular helices.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science