We address energy localization and transport in discrete curvilinear chains that model biopolymers. We use a one-dimensional modified Fermi-Pasta-Ulam model that describes approximately dynamics in curved polymers with rigid angles and only first-neighbor interactions and investigate the existence of localized energy in the form of discrete breathers. We show that breathers propagate freely in low curvature regions of the chain while there is a critical curvature above which breathers rebounce elastically without however loosing their integrity. Furthermore, breathers traverse hairpin geometries that model β-sheet bends, adapting to the local curvature while modifying their propagation speed in the curved segment. These features are stable against small local polymer angle deformations and generally persist in the nonrigid angle chain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)