Volume 86, Number 6, June 2009
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology|
|Published online||09 July 2009|
Zipping mechanism for force generation by growing filament bundles
Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces - Science Park Golm, 14424 Potsdam, Germany, EU
2 Physics Department, TU Dortmund University - 44221 Dortmund, Germany, EU
Corresponding author: Jan.Kierfeld@tu-dortmund.de
Accepted: 2 June 2009
We investigate the force generation by polymerizing bundles of filaments, which form because of short-range attractive filament interactions. We show that bundles can generate forces by a zipping mechanism, which is not limited by buckling and operates in the fully buckled state. The critical zipping force, i.e. the maximal force that a bundle can generate, is given by the adhesive energy gained during bundle formation. For opposing forces larger than the critical zipping force, bundles undergo a force-induced unbinding transition. For larger bundles, the critical zipping force depends on the initial configuration of the bundles. Our results are corroborated by Monte Carlo simulations.
PACS: 87.16.Ka – Filaments, microtubules, their networks, and supramolecular assemblies / 87.16.A- – Theory, modeling, and simulations / 87.15.rp – Polymerization
© EPLA, 2009
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