Nonlinear irreversible thermodynamics of single-molecule experiments

I. Santamaría-Holek, N. J. López-Alamilla, M. Hidalgo-Soria, A. Pérez-Madrid

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6 Scopus citations


Irreversible thermodynamics of single-molecule experiments subject to external constraining forces of a mechanical nature is presented. Extending Onsager's formalism to the nonlinear case of systems under nonequilibrium external constraints, we are able to calculate the entropy production and the general nonlinear kinetic equations for the variables involved. In particular, we analyze the case of RNA stretching protocols obtaining critical oscillations between different configurational states when forced by external means to remain in the unstable region of its free-energy landscape, as observed in experiments. We also calculate the entropy produced during these hopping events and show how resonant phenomena in stretching experiments of single RNA macromolecules may arise. We also calculate the hopping rates using Kramer's approach obtaining a good comparison with experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number062714
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number6
StatePublished - 19 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

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© 2015 American Physical Society.


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