The analysis of particles bound to surfaces by tethers can facilitate understanding of biophysical phenomena (e.g., DNA–protein or protein–ligand interactions and DNA extensibility). Modeling such systems theoretically aids in understanding experimentally observed motions, and the limitations of such models can provide insight into modeling complex systems. The simulation of tethered particle motion (TPM) allows for analysis of complex behaviors exhibited by such systems; however, this type of experiment is rarely taught in undergraduate science classes. We have developed a MATLAB simulation package intended to be used in academic contexts to concisely model and graphically represent the behavior of different tether–particle systems. We show how analysis of the simulation results can be used in biophysical research using single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS). Students in physics, engineering, and chemistry will be able to make connections with principles embedded in the field of study and understand how those principles can be used to create meaningful conclusions in a multidisciplinary context. The simulation package can model any given tether–particle system and allows the user to generate a parameter space with static and dynamic model components. Our simulation was successfully able to recreate generally observed experimental trends by using acoustic force spectroscopy (AFS). Further, the simulation was validated through consideration of the conservation of energy of the tether–bead system, trend analyses, and comparison of particle positional data from actual TPM in silico experiments conducted to simulate data with a parameter space similar to the AFS experimental setup. Overall, our TPM simulator and graphical user interface is primarily for demonstrating behaviors characteristic to TPM in a classroom setting but can serve as a template for researchers to set up TPM simulations to mimic a specific SMFS experimental setup.

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