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. MacKintosh, D. A. Weitz
2009 Physical Review E  
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.
doi:10.1103/physreve.79.041928 pmid:19518277 fatcat:acqitvohyvh4hmtzkdlwna2p7a