Claus Heussinger

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The mechanical properties of cytoskeletal actin bundles play an essential role in numerous physiological processes, including hearing, fertilization, cell migration, and growth. Cells employ a multitude of actin-binding proteins to actively regulate bundle dimensions and cross-linking properties to suit biological function. The mechanical properties of(More)
We present a theory for the elasticity of cross-linked stiff polymer networks. Stiff polymers, unlike their flexible counterparts, are highly anisotropic elastic objects. Similar to mechanical beams, stiff polymers easily deform in bending, while they are much stiffer with respect to tensile forces ("stretching"). Unlike in previous approaches, where(More)
We demonstrate that a semiflexible bundle of wormlike chains exhibits a state-dependent bending stiffness that alters fundamentally its scaling behavior with respect to the standard wormlike chain. We explore the equilibrium conformational and mechanical behavior of wormlike bundles in isolation, in cross-linked networks, and in solution.
While actin bundles are used by living cells for structural fortification, the microscopic origin of the elasticity of bundled networks is not understood. Here, we show that above a critical concentration of the actin binding protein fascin, a solution of actin filaments organizes into a pure network of bundles. While the elasticity of weakly cross-linked(More)
Bundles of filamentous polymers are primary structural components of a broad range of cytoskeletal structures, and their mechanical properties play key roles in cellular functions ranging from locomotion to mechanotransduction and fertilization. We give a detailed derivation of a wormlike bundle model as a generic description for the statics and dynamics of(More)
Combining simulations and theory I study the interplay between bundle elastic degrees of freedom and crosslink binding propensity. By slowly driving bundles into a deformed configuration, and depending on the mechanical stiffness of the crosslinking agent, the binding affinity is shown to display a sudden and discontinuous drop. This indicates a cooperative(More)
F-actin bundles are prominent cytoskeletal structures in eukaryotes. They provide mechanical stability in stereocilia, microvilli, filopodia, stress fibers and the sperm acrosome. Bundles are typically stabilized by a wide range of specific crosslinking proteins, most of which exhibit off-rates on the order of 1s−1. Yet F-actin bundles exhibit structural(More)
Inspired by the ubiquity of composite filamentous networks in nature, we investigate models of biopolymer networks that consist of interconnected floppy and stiff filaments. Numerical simulations carried out in three dimensions allow us to explore the microscopic partitioning of stresses and strains between the stiff and floppy fractions cs and cf and(More)
Inspired by the complex influence of the globular crosslinking proteins on the formation of biofilament bundles in living organisms, we study and analyze a theoretical model for the structure and thermodynamics of bundles of helical filaments assembled in the presence of crosslinking molecules. The helical structure of filaments, a universal feature of(More)
Using numerical simulations, the rheological response of an athermal assembly of soft particles with tunable attractive interactions is studied in the vicinity of jamming. At small attractions, a fragile solid develops and a finite yield stress is measured. Moreover, the measured flow curves have unstable regimes, which lead to persistent shear banding.(More)