Nonlinear elasticity of stiff biopolymers connected by flexible linkers

K. E. Kasza, G.H. Koenderink, Y.C. Lin, C.P. Broedersz, W. Messner, F. Nakamura, T. P. Stossel, F.C. Mac Kintosh, D. A. Weitz

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Networks of the biopolymer actin, cross-linked by the compliant protein filamin, form soft gels. They can, however, withstand large shear stresses due to their pronounced nonlinear elastic behavior. The nonlinear elasticity can be controlled by varying the number of cross-links per actin filament. We propose and test a model of rigid filaments decorated by multiple flexible linkers that is in quantitative agreement with experiment. This allows us to estimate loads on individual cross-links, which we find to be less than 10 pN. © 2009 The American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)041928
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4 Pt 1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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