Faculté des sciences

Unexpected Decoupling of Stretching and Bending Modes in Protein Gels

Gibaud, Thomas ; Zaccone, Alessio ; Gado, Emanuela Del ; Trappe, Véronique ; Schurtenberger, Peter

In: Physical Review Letters, 2013, vol. 110, no. 5, p. 058303

We show that gels formed by arrested spinodal decomposition of protein solutions exhibit elastic properties in two distinct frequency domains, both elastic moduli exhibiting a remarkably strong dependence on volume fraction. Considering the large difference between the protein size and the characteristic length of the network we model the gels as porous media and show that the high and low... Plus

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    Summary
    We show that gels formed by arrested spinodal decomposition of protein solutions exhibit elastic properties in two distinct frequency domains, both elastic moduli exhibiting a remarkably strong dependence on volume fraction. Considering the large difference between the protein size and the characteristic length of the network we model the gels as porous media and show that the high and low frequency elastic moduli can be respectively attributed to stretching and bending modes. The unexpected decoupling of the two modes in the frequency domain is attributed to the length scale involved: while stretching mainly relates to the relative displacement of two particles, bending involves the deformation of a strand with a thickness of the order of a thousand particle diameters.