With the advent of molecular biology and biophysics during the past decade, single-molecule biomechanics has emerged as a new field. Different techniques have been used to study the mechanical properties of DNA and protein molecules; various models have been developed to quantify the deformation of biomolecules under force. Here we review some of these advances, explore the connection between mechanics and biochemistry, and discuss the concepts, issues and challenges in developing molecular biomechanics.

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