Standard Article

DNA Mechanics and Statistical Mechanics

  1. Terence Strick,
  2. Jean-François Allemand,
  3. David Bensimon,
  4. Vincent Croquette

Published Online: 27 JAN 2006

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0002977



How to Cite

Strick, T., Allemand, J.-F., Bensimon, D. and Croquette, V. 2006. DNA Mechanics and Statistical Mechanics. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 JAN 2006


The elastic properties of DNA are essential for its biological function. They control its bending and twisting as well as the induction of structural modifications in the molecule. These can affect its interaction with the cell machinery. The response of a single DNA molecule to a mechanical stress can be precisely determined in single-molecule experiments that give access to accurate measurements of the elastic parameters of DNA.


  • elasticity of DNA;
  • single molecule manipulations;
  • theoretical models of DNA;
  • structural transitions in DNA