Deeper knowledge of the properties of interfaces is crucial for understanding many processes in nature, especially in living cells. Therefore, we are investigating membrane models, such as the simple dodecane/water interface, using DNA probes. One of the aims is to supply a tool for the biochemical study of cytoplasmic membrane-associated DNA, whose function is still not clear.
A specific experimental technique for this project is Surface Second Harmonic Generation (SSHG), which is forbidden in centrosymmetric media. The absolute orientation and distribution of the molecular probe can be obtained by combining SSHG with Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations. Our work highlights that the DNA probe used for the simulation shown in the top figure lies flat at the interface at any surface concentration. Using the distribution Δθ obtained from MD simulations for a dye-saturated interface results in an excellent agreement between SSHG experiments and simulations.
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Physical Chemistry Department - Sciences II - University of Geneva
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