Conformation and translational diffusion of a xanthan polyelectrolyte chain: Brownian dynamics simulation and single molecule tracking

Myung Suk Chun, Chongyoup Kim, Duck E. Lee

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18 Citations (Scopus)


In our recent Brownian dynamics (BD) simulation study, the structure and dynamics of anionic polyelectrolyte xanthan in bulk solution as well as confined spaces of slitlike channel were examined by applying a coarse-grained model with nonlinear bead-spring discretization of a whole chain. This model goes beyond other simulations as they did not consider both long-range electrostatic and hydrodynamic interactions between pairs of beads. Simulation parameters are obtained from the viscometric method of rheology data on the native and sonicated xanthan polysaccharides, which have a contour length less than 1 μm. The size of the semiflexible polyelectrolyte can be well described by the wormlike chain model once the electrostatic effects are taken into account by the persistence length measured at a long length scale. For experimental verifications, single molecule visualization was performed on fluorescein-labeled xanthan using an inverted fluorescence microscope, and the motion of an individual molecule was quantified. Experimental results on the conformational changes in xanthan chain in the electrolyte solution have a reasonable trend to agree with the prediction by BD simulations. In the translational diffusion induced by the Debye screening effect, the simulation prediction reveals slightly higher values compared to those of our measurements, although it agrees with the literature data. Considering the experimental restrictions, our BD simulations are verified to model the single polyelectrolyte well.

Original languageEnglish
Article number051919
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009 May 27

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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