A computational investigation of the fracture and plastic behavior of cytoskeleton
Miss Tang Bingxian
MPhil candidate in the Mechanical Engineering Dept.
Date & Time
Friday, 30 April 2021
Cytoskeleton is a fibrous network, consisting of various bio-polymers and associated crosslinking proteins. In addition to protecting the cell from external disruptive forces and maintaining its proper internal partition, cytoskeleton is known to play key roles in different dynamic cellular processes where the bio-polymer network often needs to be totally disrupted or undergo irreversible re-arrangement. However, the fundamental question of how such plastic deformation or rupture of cytoskeleton take place, as well as key factors governing these processes, remains unclear. Here we describe a computational study to address this outstanding issue. Specifically, realistic bio-filament networks will be generated in silico while their response under imposed loading are examined by the combined finite element - Langevin dynamics (FEM-LD) method where, in addition to the large deformation of individual biopolymer, the binding/breaking kinetics of cross-linkers and thermal excitations have all been taken into account. Some preliminary results highlighting the influence of loading rate and defect size on the fracture behavior of the cytoskeletal network will also be presented and discussed.