Aug 29, 2019

Model-Free Rheo-AFM Probes the Viscoelasticity of Tunable DNA Soft Colloids

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José A Moreno-GuerraMarco Laurati

Abstract

Atomic force microscopy rheological measurements (Rheo-AFM) of the linear viscoelastic properties of single, charged colloids having a star-like architecture with a hard core and an extended, deformable double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) corona dispersed in aqueous saline solutions are reported. This is achieved by analyzing indentation and relaxation experiments performed on individual colloidal particles by means of a novel model-free Fourier transform method that allows a direct evaluation of the frequency-dependent linear viscoelastic moduli of the system under investigation. The method provides results that are consistent with those obtained via a conventional fitting procedure of the force-relaxation curves based on a modified Maxwell model. The outcomes show a pronounced softening of the dsDNA colloids, which is described by an exponential decay of both the Young's and the storage modulus as a function of the salt concentration within the dispersing medium. The strong softening is related to a critical reduction of the size of the dsDNA corona, down to ≈70% of its size in a salt-free solution. This can be correlated to significant topological changes of the dense star-like polyelectrolyte forming the corona, which are induced b...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Size
Ions
Colloids
Evaluation
Steroidogenic acute regulatory protein
Microscopy, Atomic Force
AFM
Probes
Core
Extent

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