SKM 2023 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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BP: Fachverband Biologische Physik

BP 12: Biopolymers and Biomaterials (joint session BP/CPP)

BP 12.9: Vortrag

Mittwoch, 29. März 2023, 12:00–12:15, TOE 317

Confinement-induced fractionation and liquid-liquid phase separation of polymer mixtures — •Arash Nikoubashman1 and Miho Yanagisawa21Institute of Physics, JGU Mainz, Germany — 2Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Japan

The formation of (bio)molecular condensates via liquid-liquid phase separation in cells has received increasing attention, as these coacervates play important functional and regulatory roles within biological systems. However, the majority of studies focused on the behavior of pure systems in bulk solutions, thus neglecting confinement effects and the interplay between the numerous molecules present in cells. To advance our knowledge, we perform simulations of binary polymer mixtures in droplets, considering both monodisperse and polydisperse molecular weight distributions for the longer polymer species. We find that confinement induces a spatial separation of the polymers by length, with the shorter ones moving to the droplet surface. This partitioning causes a distinct increase of the local polymer concentration in the droplet center, which is more pronounced in polydisperse systems. Consequently, the systems exhibit liquid-liquid phase separation at average polymer concentrations where bulk systems are still in the one-phase regime.

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