Journal of Biological Physics

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 113–125 | Cite as

On the mechanical analogue of DNA

  • Ludmila Yakushevich
Original Paper


The creation of mechanical analogues of biological systems is known as a useful instrument that helps to understand better the dynamical mechanisms of the functioning of living organisms. Mechanical analogues of biomolecules are usually constructed for imitation of their internal mobility, which is one of the most important properties of the molecules. Among the different types of internal motions, angular oscillations of nitrous bases are of special interest because they make a substantial contribution to the base pairs opening that in turn is an important element of the process of the DNA–protein recognition. In this paper, we investigate the possibility to construct a mechanical analogue for imitation of angular oscillations of nitrous bases in inhomogeneous DNA. It is shown that the analogue has the form of a mechanical chain of non-identical pendulums that oscillate in the gravitational field of the Earth and coupled by identical springs. The masses and lengths of pendulums, as well as the distances between neighboring pendulums and the rigidity of springs are calculated. To illustrate the approach, we present the result of construction of the mechanical analogue of the fragment of the sequence of bacteriophage T7D.


DNA dynamics Oscillations of nitrous bases Bacteriophage T7D Chain of non-identical pendulums Modified sine-Gordon equation 



The author acknowledges Mario Salerno for interesting and fruitful discussions. She also acknowledges the chief of the Department Evgenii Fesenko for providing general support of the work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that she has no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Cell Biophysics of the Russian Academy of SciencesPushchinoRussian Federation

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