Stress relaxation in F-actin solutions by severing†
Networks of filamentous actin (F-actin) are important for the mechanics of most animal cells. These cytoskeletal networks are highly dynamic, with a variety of actin-associated proteins that control cross-linking, polymerization and force generation in the cytoskeleton. Inspired by recent rheological experiments on reconstituted solutions of dynamic actin filaments, we report a theoretical model that describes stress relaxation behavior of these solutions in the presence of severing proteins. We show that depending on the kinetic rates of assembly, disassembly, and severing, one can observe both length-dependent and length-independent relaxation behavior.