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Journal Articles Science Advances Year : 2022

Experimental evidence for long-distance electrodynamic intermolecular forces

Sandra Ruffenach
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Dominique Coquillat
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  • PersonId : 995041
Frederic Teppe


Both Classical and Quantum Electrodynamics predict the existence of dipole-dipole long-range electrodynamic intermolecular forces, however these have never been hitherto experimentally observed. The discovery of completely new and unanticipated forces acting between biomolecules could have considerable impact on our understanding of the dynamics and functioning of the molecular machines at work in living organisms. Here, using two independent approaches, we demonstrate experimentally for the first time the activation of resonant electrodynamic intermolecular forces. We characterize clustering transitions induced by these forces by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy when out-of-equilibrium conditions induce collective molecular oscillation observed by Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy. This is an unprecedented experimental \textit{proof of principle} of a physical phenomenon that, having been observed for bio-macromolecules and with a long-range of action (up to 1000 ${\mathring{A}}$), could be of importance for biology. Therefore, in addition to thermal fluctuations that drive molecular motion randomly, these resonant (and thus selective) electrodynamic forces may contribute to molecular encounters in the crowded cellular space. We anticipate our findings will provide a basis for future systematic deepening of physical aspects of the reported phenomena and for future systematic assessment of the relevance of electrodynamic forces in shaping the dynamics of biomolecular encounters and recognition in biology.
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Dates and versions

hal-03259009 , version 1 (12-06-2021)
hal-03259009 , version 2 (12-10-2021)
hal-03259009 , version 3 (29-12-2021)
hal-03259009 , version 4 (03-01-2022)
hal-03259009 , version 5 (17-02-2022)


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Mathias Lechelon, Yoann Meriguet, Matteo Gori, Sandra Ruffenach, Ilaria Nardecchia, et al.. Experimental evidence for long-distance electrodynamic intermolecular forces. Science Advances , 2022, 8 (7), pp.eabl5855. ⟨10.1126/sciadv.abl5855⟩. ⟨hal-03259009v5⟩
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