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Pulling a Single Polymer Molecule off a Substrate Reveals the Binding Thermodynamics of Cosolutes


  • We thank the DFG (grants HU 997/4, NE 810/4, NE 810/7, SFB 863), NIM, and the Fond der Chemischen Industrie for financial support. We thank Simon Q. Lud and Jose A. Garrido for the donation of diamond samples. M.G. was supported by the Elitenetzwerk Bayern in the framework of CompInt and the Stiftung Industrieforschung. Helpful discussions with Nolan B. Holland, Jeffrey R. Moffitt, Dominik Horinek, and Matthias Erdmann are gratefully acknowledged.


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To bind or not to bind: Cosolutes modify, or even determine, the interactions between macromolecules and surfaces. A combination of single-molecule atomic force microscopy with thermodynamic modeling allows the extraction of the binding parameters of cosolutes onto a macromolecule in solution and also in its surface-adsorbed state.