Viscoelastic response of contractile filament bundles
Authors: Besser A, Colombelli J, Stelzer EH, Schwarz US.
CellNetworks People: Schwarz Ulrich, Stelzer Ernst H.K.
Journal: Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2011 May;83 (5 Pt 1):051902.

The actin cytoskeleton of adherent tissue cells often condenses into filament bundles contracted by myosin motors, so-called stress fibers, which play a crucial role in the mechanical interaction of cells with their environment. Stress fibers are usually attached to their environment at the endpoints, but possibly also along their whole length. We introduce a theoretical model for such contractile filament bundles which combines passive viscoelasticity with active contractility. The model equations are solved analytically for two different types of boundary conditions. A free boundary corresponds to stress fiber contraction dynamics after laser surgery and results in good agreement with experimental data. Imposing cyclic varying boundary forces allows us to calculate the complex modulus of a single stress fiber.