Electrostatic many-body effects in polymer translocation and polymer-membrane interactions


Şahin Büyükdağlı, Bilkent University

Electrostatic interactions are omnipresent in biological systems. From polymer translocation through nanopores to polymer-DNA interactions governing gene delivery techniques, electrostatics lies at the heart of various biological and biotechnological processes. The standard tool that describes these systems is the Poisson-Boltzmann (PB) formulation of electrostatics. This approach is severely limited by its mean-field nature. By neglecting ionic many-body effects that become crucial in electrolyte solutions including multivalent ions or dielectric macromolecules, the PB theory provides a limited understanding of biological systems. In this talk, I will present the electrostatic one-loop theory that incorporates many-body interactions into the PB formalism. By applying this improved approach to DNA translocation problem, I will show that electrostatic many-body effects can be efficiently used to improve our control over this promising DNA sequencing method [1,2]. Then, in terms of the same ionic many-body effects, I will explain the physics behind the experimentally observed attraction of DNA molecules by like-charged membranes [3].[1] S. Buyukdagli and T. Ala-Nissila, Langmuir 30, 12907 (2014).
[2] S. Buyukdagli, Ralf Blossey, and T. Ala-Nissila, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 088303 (2015).

[3] S. Buyukdagli and R. Blossey, Phys. Rev. E 94, 042502 (2016). 

Bio: Dr. Şahin Büyükdağlı received his PhD degree in statistical physics from University Joseph Fourier (France) in 2007. Subsequently, he conducted postdoctoral research at Hong Kong Baptist University, Laboratoire de Physique Theorique de Toulouse (France), Aalto University (Finland), and Interdisciplinary Research Institue of Lille (France). In 2014, he joined the Physics Department of Bilkent University. His current research deals with the statistical physics and hydrodynamics of electrostatically interacting systems.