Nonlinear elasticity in filamentous networks: a critical phenomenon
Abhi Sharma, Amsterdam University
Most biological materials exhibit highly nonlinear mechanics apparent as striking increase in the stiffness under application of strain. In non-thermal networks such as collagen, the nonlinear behavior arises from the collective non-affine deformations. I will show that stiffening in such networks can be regarded as a strain-driven phase transition with rich critical behavior analogous to the ferromagnetic phase transition. The critical exponents obtained are non mean-field and are independent of the detailed structure of the network. Moreover, the exponents are independent of the dimensionality of the system.