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A minimal model of elastic instabilities in biological filament bundles

Panter, Jack and Kusumaatmaja, Halim and Prior, Chris (2022) 'A minimal model of elastic instabilities in biological filament bundles.', Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 19 (194). p. 20220287.


We present a model of a system of elastic fibres which exhibits complex, coupled, nonlinear deformations via a connecting elastic spring network. This model can capture physically observed deformations such as global buckling, pinching and internal collapse. We explore the transitions between these deformation modes numerically, using an energy minimization approach, highlighting how supported environments, or stiff outer sheath structures, favour internal structural collapse over global deformation. We then derive a novel analytic buckling criterion for the internal collapse of the system, a mode of structural collapse pertinent in many biological filament bundles such as the optic nerve bundle and microtubule bundles involved in cell abscission.

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Publisher statement:© 2022 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Date accepted:22 August 2022
Date deposited:24 October 2022
Date of first online publication:21 September 2022
Date first made open access:24 October 2022

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