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Paper IPM / P / 12585  


Abstract:  
The wrapping equilibria of one and two adsorbing cylinders are studied along a semiflexible filament (polymer) due to the interplay between elastic rigidity and shortrange adhesive energy between the cylinder and the filament. We show that statistical mechanics of the system can be solved exactly using a path integral formalism which gives access to the full effect of thermal fluctuations, going thus beyond the usual Gaussian approximations which take into account only the contributions from the minimal energy configuration and small fluctuations about this minimal energy solution. We obtain the free energy of the wrappingunwrapping transition of the filament around the cylinders as well as the effective interaction between two wrapped cylinders due to thermal fluctuations of the elastic filament. A change of entropy due to wrapping of the filament around the adsorbing cylinders as they move closer together is identified as an additional source of interactions between them. Such entropic wrapping effects should be distinguished from the usual entropic configuration effects in semiflexible polymers. Our results may be relevant to the problem of adsorption of oriented nanorods on semiflexible polymers.
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