Entropic elasticity and structural change in biofilament networks

Entropic elasticity and structural change in biofilament networks

In this talk we will focus on the elasticity of soft filamentous networks. We will begin with the mechanical behavior of fibrin networks which
have been shown to be highly extensible in recent experiments. We believe that the high extensibility of the networks has its origins in the force induced
structural change in the proteins making up the fibrin fibers. We will present a model and experimental evidence in support of our hypothesis. In the
remainder of the talk we will describe how the quasi-harmonic approximation of statistical mechanics can be combined with the finite element method (used
in structural analysis of buildings,...

Date

April 17, 2012 - 10:00am

Location

Klaus 1116 West

In this talk we will focus on the elasticity of soft filamentous networks. We will begin with the mechanical behavior of fibrin networks which
have been shown to be highly extensible in recent experiments. We believe that the high extensibility of the networks has its origins in the force induced
structural change in the proteins making up the fibrin fibers. We will present a model and experimental evidence in support of our hypothesis. In the
remainder of the talk we will describe how the quasi-harmonic approximation of statistical mechanics can be combined with the finite element method (used
in structural analysis of buildings, aeroplanes, cars and so on) to understand the entropic elasticity of semi-flexible filament networks. This technique
enables us to capture strain stiffening as well as softening due to filament buckling in networks of actin filaments.