Stress-enhanced gelation: a dynamic nonlinearity of elasticity.

TitleStress-enhanced gelation: a dynamic nonlinearity of elasticity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsYao NY, Broedersz CP, Depken M, Becker DJ, Pollak MR, Mackintosh FC, Weitz DA
JournalPhysical review letters
Date Published2013 Jan 4

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.

Alternate JournalPhys. Rev. Lett.