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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Mar 3;96(8):088102. Epub 2006 Mar 3.

Stress-dependent elasticity of composite actin networks as a model for cell behavior.

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  • 1Department of Physics and D.E.A.S., Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.


Networks of filamentous actin cross-linked with the actin-binding protein filamin A exhibit remarkable strain stiffening leading to an increase in differential elastic modulus by several orders of magnitude over the linear value. The variation of the frequency dependence of the differential elastic and loss moduli as a function of prestress is consistent with that observed in living cells, suggesting that cell elasticity is always measured in the nonlinear regime, and that prestress is an essential control parameter.

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