Mechanical shear can accelerate the gelation of actin filament networks

Osigwe Esue, Yiider Tseng, Denis Wirtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rearrangements of the filamentous actin cytoskeleton at the leading edge of motile cells occur under large mechanical stresses. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we show that mechanical deformations applied during gelation can accelerate the rate of gelation and produce F-actin networks that are stiffer and mechanically more resilient than those polymerized under low or high shear deformations. Above a threshold shear strain amplitude, F-actin networks collapse and become soft and liquidlike. This effect of shear-induced strengthening of polymerizing networks depends on the state of hydrolysis of the actin-bound adenosine triphosphate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number048301
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 22 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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