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Molecular origin of strain softening in cross-linked F-actin networks


Lee H. , Ferrer J.M. , Lang M.J. , Kamm R.D. . Physical Review E. 2010 ; 82(011919).


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Two types of measurement are presented that relate molecular events to macroscopic behavior of F-actin networks. First, shear modulus is measured by oscillating an embedded microbead. Second, a microbead is translated at constant rate and transitions in the resisting force are observed. The loading rate dependence of the force at the transitions is similar to that of the molecular unbinding force, suggesting that they share a common origin. Reversibility tests of shear modulus provide further evidence that strain softening of F-actin networks is caused by force-induced rupture of cross-links.