Individual chromosomes as viscoelastic copolymers

S. Almagro, S. Dimitrov, T. Hirano, M. Vallade, D. Riveline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


We report elastic measurements of individual chromosomes observed in vitro. Free fluctuations of shapes show that a chromosome can be seen as a copolymer, exhibiting rigid regions alternating with semi-flexible regions. We characterize this behavior and compare it with known biopolymers. We further show that the inner part of a chromosome exhibits viscoelasticity, as extracted by the loading rate dependence of the stretch modulus. Taken together, these data suggest an organization for the chromosome as a copolymer composed of an inner rigid core exhibiting viscoelasticity surrounded by an elastic soft envelope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-914
Number of pages7
JournalEurophysics Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this