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The elastic properties and deformation mechanisms of actin filament networks crosslinked by filamins

Wang, Xiaobo, Zhu, Hanxing, Lu, Yongtao, Wang, Zuobin and Kennedy, David 2020. The elastic properties and deformation mechanisms of actin filament networks crosslinked by filamins. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 112 , 104075. 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2020.104075
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As a substructure of cell cytoskeleton, the crosslinked actin filament networks (CAFNs) play a major role in different cell functions, however, the elastic properties and the deformation mechanisms of CAFNs still remain to be understood. In this paper, a novel three-dimensional (3D) finite element (FE) model has been developed to mimic the mechanical properties of actin filament (F-actin) networks crosslinked by filamin A (FLNA). The simulation results indicate that although the Young's modulus of CAFNs varies in different directions for each random model, the statistical mean value is in-plane isotropic. The crosslinking density and the actin filament volume fraction are found to strongly affect the in-plane shear modulus of CAFNs. The simulation results agree well with the relevant experimental results. In addition, an L-shaped cantilever beam model has been developed for dimensional analysis on the shear stiffness of CAFNs and for quantifying the deformation mechanisms. It has been demonstrated that the in-plane shear modulus of CAFNs is mainly dominated by FLNA (i.e., cross-linkers), and that the bending and torsion deformations of FLNA have almost the same contribution to the stiffness of CAFNs. It has also been found that the stiffness of CAFNs is almost insensitive to the variation of the Poisson's ratios of FLNA and actin filament in the range from 0.29 to 0.499.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1751-6161
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 September 2020
Date of Acceptance: 28 August 2020
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2020 12:30

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