Letter | Published:

Attractive Forces between Macromolecular Chains of Biological Importance

Naturevolume 193pages476477 (1962) | Download Citation



THE strong London–Van der Waals dispersion forces between macromolecules at small distances have long been recognized as a contributing factor to the stability of many biological structures in which two or more long molecular chains are found to be only a few Å. apart1–4. However, it has been very difficult to make a reliable estimate of the magnitude of these forces when very large molecules are involved and to compare their contribution with that of hydrogen bonds, electrostatic forces, etc., because the macromolecular dimensions are usually much larger than the intermolecular distances, so that London's familiar inverse sixth-power distance force-law does not hold.

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  1. Department of Chemistry, Harvard University, 12 Oxford Street, Cambridge, 38, Mass.

    • L. SALEM


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