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Issue 3, 2011
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Control of non-linear elasticity in F-actin networks with microtubules

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Abstract

We measure the elastic properties of composite cytoskeletal networks consisting of cross-linked actin filaments and microtubules. We show that even a small concentration of microtubules leads to dramatic and qualitative changes in the non-linear elastic properties of the actin filament networks. Specifically, we find that microtubules promote non-linear stiffening of F-actin networks because they are much stiffer than actin filaments and therefore suppress non-uniform strain. This finding may be relevant for interpretation of the mechanical behavior of cells, while also suggesting a new way to reinforce the non-linear elasticity of semiflexible polymer materials.

Graphical abstract: Control of non-linear elasticity in F-actin networks with microtubules

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Article information


Submitted
05 Jun 2010
Accepted
31 Aug 2010
First published
21 Sep 2010

Soft Matter, 2011,7, 902-906
Article type
Paper

Control of non-linear elasticity in F-actin networks with microtubules

Y. Lin, G. H. Koenderink, F. C. MacKintosh and D. A. Weitz, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 902
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00478B

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