Stress-enhanced gelation: A dynamic nonlinearity of elasticity


Yao, N. Y. ; Broedersz, C. P. ; Depken, M. ; Becker, D. J. ; Pollak, M. R. ; MacKintosh, F. C. ; Weitz, D. A. Stress-enhanced gelation: A dynamic nonlinearity of elasticity. Physical Review Letters 2013, 110. Copy at
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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 alpha-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. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.018103

Last updated on 07/09/2014