Volume 64, Number 5, December 2003
|Page(s)||716 - 722|
|Section||Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology|
|Published online||01 November 2003|
Continuum theory of contractile fibres
Max-Planck-Institut für Physik komplexer Systeme Nöthnitzer Str. 38, 01187 Dresden, Germany
Accepted: 1 October 2003
The generation of contractile forces by living cells often involves linear arrangements of actively interacting polar filaments. We develop a physical description of the dynamics of active fibers based on a general expression for the tension in terms of the filament density and the bundle polarisation. We discuss the long-time behaviour of oriented and of nonpolar fibres, discuss effects of polymerization and depolymerization, and relate this continuum theory to nonlocal descriptions of filament-motor systems. We show that a nonpolar arrangement of filaments suppresses oscillatory instabilities which could be relevant for muscle fibers.
PACS: 87.16.Ka – Filaments, microtubules, their networks, and supramolecular assemblies / 05.45.-a – Nonlinear dynamics and nonlinear dynamical systems
© EDP Sciences, 2003
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