Origins of Elasticity in Intermediate Filament Networks

Y.C. Lin, N.Y. Yao, C.P. Broedersz, H. Herrmann, F.C. MacKintosh, D. A. Weitz

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Abstract

Intermediate filaments are common structural elements found in abundance in all metazoan cells, where they form networks that contribute to the elasticity. Here, we report measurements of the linear and nonlinear viscoelasticity of networks of two distinct intermediate filaments, vimentin and neurofilaments. Both exhibit predominantly elastic behavior with strong nonlinear strain stiffening. We demonstrate that divalent ions behave as effective cross-linkers for both networks, and that the elasticity of these networks is consistent with the theory for that of semiflexible polymers. © 2010 The American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)058101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume104
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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