Nonlinear elasticity of composite networks of stiff biopolymers with flexible linkers

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Abstract

Motivated by recent experiments showing nonlinear elasticity of in vitro networks of the biopolymer actin cross-linked with filamin, we present an effective medium theory of flexibly cross-linked stiff polymer networks. We model such networks by randomly oriented elastic rods connected by flexible connectors to a surrounding elastic continuum, which self-consistently represents the behavior of the rest of the network. This model yields a crossover from a linear elastic regime to a highly nonlinear elastic regime that stiffens in a way quantitatively consistent with experiment. © 2008 The American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume101
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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