Low temperature physics at room temperature in water: Charge inversion in chemical and biological systems

A. Yu Grosberg, T. T. Nguyen, B. I. Shklovskii

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We review recent advances in the physics of strongly interacting charged systems functioning in water at room temperature. We concentrate on the phenomena which go beyond the framework of mean field theories, whether linear Debye-Hückel or non-linear Poisson-Boltzmann. We place major emphasis on charge inversion - a counterintuitive phenomenon in which a strongly charged particle, called macroion, binds so many counterions that its net charge changes sign. We discuss the universal theory of charge inversion based on the idea of a strongly correlated liquid of adsorbed counterions, similar to a Wigner crystal. This theory has a vast array of applications, particularly in biology and chemistry; for example, the DNA double helix in the presence of positive multivalent ions (e.g., polycations) acquires a net positive charge and drifts as a positive particle in electric field. This simplifies DNA uptake by the cell as needed for gene therapy, because the cell membrane is negatively charged. We discuss also the analogies of charge inversion in other fields of physics.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)235-265
    Number of pages31
    JournalInternational Journal of High Speed Electronics and Systems
    Volume12
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jun 2002

    Fingerprint

    Biological systems
    DNA
    Physics
    Gene therapy
    Mean field theory
    Water
    Cell membranes
    Charged particles
    Positive ions
    Electric fields
    Temperature
    Crystals
    Liquids
    polycations

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Media Technology
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

    Cite this

    Low temperature physics at room temperature in water : Charge inversion in chemical and biological systems. / Grosberg, A. Yu; Nguyen, T. T.; Shklovskii, B. I.

    In: International Journal of High Speed Electronics and Systems, Vol. 12, No. 2, 06.2002, p. 235-265.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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