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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2010 Sep;82(3 Pt 1):031902. Epub 2010 Sep 8.

Energy distribution in disordered elastic networks.

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Departamento de Ciencia de Materiales, ETSI de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidad Polit├ęcnica de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


Disordered networks are found in many natural and artificial materials, from gels or cytoskeletal structures to metallic foams or bones. Here, the energy distribution in this type of networks is modeled, taking into account the orientation of the struts. A correlation between the orientation and the energy per unit volume is found and described as a function of the connectivity in the network and the relative bending stiffness of the struts. If one or both parameters have relatively large values, the struts aligned in the loading direction present the highest values of energy. On the contrary, if these have relatively small values, the highest values of energy can be reached in the struts oriented transversally. This result allows explaining in a simple way remodeling processes in biological materials, for example, the remodeling of trabecular bone and the reorganization in the cytoskeleton. Additionally, the correlation between the orientation, the affinity, and the bending-stretching ratio in the network is discussed.


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