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 experiments, on the basis of different physical effects detected by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and terahertz spectroscopy, respectively, we demonstrate experimentally the activation of resonant electrodynamic intermolecular forces. This is an unprecedented experimental proof of principle of a physical phenomenon that, having been observed for biomacromolecules and with long-range action (up to 1000 Å), could be of importance for biology. 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.
By Mathias Lechelon, Yoann Meriguet, Matteo Gori, Sandra Ruffenach, Ilaria Nardecchia, Elena Floriani, Dominique Coquillat, Frédéric Teppe, Sébastien Mailfert, Didier Marguet, Pierre Ferrier, Luca Varani, James Sturgis, Jeremie Torres, Marco Pettini
Read full paper here
Published on 23/03/2022