Actively Stressed Marginal Networks

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We study the effects of motor-generated stresses in disordered three-dimensional fiber networks using a combination of a mean-field theory, scaling analysis, and a computational model. We find that motor activity controls the elasticity in an anomalous fashion close to the point of marginal stability by coupling to critical network fluctuations. We also show that motor stresses can stabilize initially floppy networks, extending the range of critical behavior to a broad regime of network connectivities below the marginal point. Away from this regime, or at high stress, motors give rise to a linear increase in stiffness with stress. Finally, we demonstrate that our results are captured by a simple, constitutive scaling relation highlighting the important role of nonaffine strain fluctuations as a susceptibility to motor stress. © 2012 American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Article number238101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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