Frequency-dependent stiffening of semiflexible networks : a dynamical nonaffine to affine transistion

E.M. Huisman, C. Storm, G.T. Barkema

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By combining the force-extension relation of single semiflexible polymers with a Langevin equation to capture the dissipative dynamics of chains moving through a viscous medium we study the dynamical response of cross-linked biopolymer materials. We find that at low frequencies the network deformations are highly nonaffine, and show a low plateau in the modulus. At higher frequencies, this nonaffinity decreases while the elastic modulus increases. With increasing frequency, more and more nonaffine network relaxation modes are suppressed, resulting in a stiffening. This effect is fundamentally different from the high-frequency stiffening due to the single-filament relaxation modes [F. Gittes and F. C. MacKintosh, Phys. Rev. E 58, R1241 (1998)], not only in terms of its mechanism but also in its resultant scaling: G'(¿)~¿a with a>3/4. This may determine nonlinear material properties at low, physiologically relevant frequencies. © 2010 The American Physical Society
Original languageEnglish
Article number061902
Pages (from-to)061902-1/7
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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