Viscoelasticity of Living Materials: Mechanics and Chemistry of Muscle\\ as an Active Macromolecular System
Hong Qian

Source MCB: Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 107-118, 2008
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Keywords biomaterials, heat production, molecular motor, sliding filament, stochastic model
Abstract At the molecular and cellular level, mechanics and chemistry are two aspects of the same macromolecular system. We present a bottom-up approach to such systems based on Kramers' diffusion theory of chemical reactions, the theory of polymer dynamics, and the recently developed models for molecular motors. Using muscle as an example, we develop a viscoelastic theory of muscle in terms of an simple equation for single motor protein movement. Both A.V. Hill's contractile component and A.F. Huxley's equation of sliding-filament motion are shown to be special cases of the general viscoelastic theory of the active material. Some disparity between the mechanical and the chemical views of cross-bridges and motor proteins are noted, and a duality between force and energy in discrete states and transitions of macromolecular systems is discussed.
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