Principal Investigator: Carsten Svaneborg

Faculty of Science – Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy (FKF) – SDU

Gels made of stiff polymers are of interest for multiple reasons. Fundamentally, their topological entanglement properties are quite different from dens melts of flexible chains, secondly many biomaterials such as f-actin gels are composed of stiff biological polymers. Computationally, naively simulating stiff polymers with bead-spring models are expensive, since stiff chains require angular potentials with high spring strengths, and hence require small time steps, and many beads are required to decorate the chain. Recently, it became possible to add pair interactions not between beads, but between the bonds connecting beads. Such interactions allow for computationally much more effective models of stiff polymer gels, since much fewer beads are required to model a stiff polymer. Secondly, the bond pair interactions can be designed to ensure gel topology is conserved. In the present project, we investigate and benchmark how to apply these computational techniques and optionally how to map the gel models onto biological gel systems.