Mechanical response of active gels

T. B. Liverpool, M. C. Marchetti, J. F. Joanny, J. Prost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


We study a model of an active gel of cross-linked semiflexible filaments with additional active linkers such as myosin II clusters. We show that the coupling of the elasticity of the semiflexible filaments to the mechanical properties of the motors leads to contractile behavior of the gel, in qualitative agreement with experimental observations. The motors, however, soften the zero-frequency elastic constant of the gel. When the collective motor dynamics is incorporated in the model, a stiffening of the network at high frequencies is obtained. The frequency controlling the crossover between low-and high-frequency network elasticity is estimated in terms of microscopic properties of motors and filaments, and can be as low as 10-3 Hz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18007
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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