Nonlinearities of biopolymer gels increase the range of force transmission

Xinpeng Xu, Samuel A. Safran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We present a model of biopolymer gels that includes two types of elastic nonlinearities, stiffening under extension and softening (due to buckling) under compression, to predict the elastic anisotropy induced by both external as well as internal (e.g., due to cell contractility) stresses in biopolymer gels. We show how the stretch-induced anisotropy and the strain-stiffening nonlinearity increase both the amplitude and power-law range of transmission of internal, contractile, cellular forces, and relate this to recent experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number032728
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
StatePublished - 29 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


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