Stress-Enhanced Gelation: A Dynamic Nonlinearity of Elasticity

N.Y. Yao, C.P. Broedersz, S.M. Depken, D.J. Becker, M.R. Pollak, F.C. MacKintosh, D.A. Weitz

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A hallmark of biopolymer networks is their sensitivity to stress, reflected by pronounced nonlinear elastic stiffening. Here, we demonstrate a distinct dynamical nonlinearity in biopolymer networks consisting of filamentous actin cross-linked by α-actinin-4. Applied stress delays the onset of relaxation and flow, markedly enhancing gelation and extending the regime of solidlike behavior to much lower frequencies. We show that this macroscopic network response can be accounted for at the single molecule level by the increased binding affinity of the cross-linker under load, characteristic of catch-bond-like behavior. © 2013 American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Article number018103
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Stress-Enhanced Gelation: A Dynamic Nonlinearity of Elasticity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this