We map dilute or semi-dilute solutions of non-intersecting polymer chains onto a fluid of ``soft'' particles interacting via a concentration dependent effective pair potential, by inverting the pair distribution function of the centers of mass of the initial polymer chains. A similar inversion is used to derive an effective wall-polymer potential; these potentials are combined to successfully reproduce the calculated exact depletion interaction induced by non-intersecting polymers between two walls. The mapping opens up the possibility of large-scale simulations of polymer solutions in complex geometries.
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