Claus Heussinger

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany

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Publications (31)98.39 Total impact

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    Poulomi Sadhukhan, Ole Schuman, Claus Heussinger
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    ABSTRACT: We study the response of F-actin bundles to driving forces through a simple analytical model. We consider two filaments connected by reversibly bound crosslinks and driven by an external force. Two failure modes under load can be defined. \textit{Brittle failure} is observed when crosslinks suddenly and collectively unbind, leading to catastrophic loss of bundle integrity. During \textit{ductile failure}, on the other hand, bundle integrity is maintained, however at the cost of crosslink reorganization and defect formation. We present phase diagrams for the onset of failure, highlighting the importance of the crosslink stiffness for these processes. Crossing the phase boundaries, force-deflection curves display (frequency-dependent) hysteresis loops, reflecting the first-order character of the failure processes. We evidence how the introduction of defects can lead to complex elasto-plastic relaxation processes, once the force is switched off. Depending on, both, the time-scale for defect motion as well as the crosslink stiffness, bundles can remain in a quasi-permanent plastically deformed state for a very long time.
    The European physical journal. E, Soft matter. 05/2014; 37(6).
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    Ehsan Irani, Pinaki Chaudhuri, Claus Heussinger
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    ABSTRACT: Using numerical simulations, the rheological response of an athermal assembly of soft particles with tunable attractive interactions is studied in the vicinity of jamming. At small attractions, a fragile solid develops and a finite yield stress is measured. Moreover, the measured flow curves have unstable regimes, which lead to persistent shearbanding. These features are rationalized by establishing a link between the rheology and the inter-particle connectivity, which also provides a minimal model to describe the flow curves.
    Physical review letters. 12/2013; 112(18).
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    Matthias Grob, Claus Heussinger, Annette Zippelius
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    ABSTRACT: We propose a phase diagram for frictional grains in $d=2$ based on simulations and a simple model for a nonequilibrium first order phase transition. The flow curves, i.e. stress $\sigma$ versus strain rate $\dot{\gamma}$, show hysteresis above a critical packing fraction $\varphi_c=0.7922$, jumping between an inertial flow phase with small $\sigma$ to a plastic flow phase with high $\sigma$. A yield stress is observed for $\varphi>\varphi_{\sigma}=0.8003$ and the viscosity diverges at $\varphi_{\eta}=0.8186$. The transition from flowing to jammed states is reentrant with transient jam-and-flow states in between. All these features can be explained by the simple model: The viscosity diverges, when the inertial flow regime becomes locally unstable and the transient jam-and-flow states are interpreted as metastable states.
    11/2013;
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    Moumita Maiti, Claus Heussinger
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    ABSTRACT: We study, by computer simulations, the role of different dissipation forces on the rheological properties of highly-dense particle-laden flows. In particular, we are interested in the close-packing limit (jamming) and the question if "universal" observables can be identified that do not depend on the details of the dissipation model. To this end, we define a simplified lubrication force and systematically vary the range $h_c$ of this interaction. For fixed $h_c$ a cross-over is seen from a Newtonian flow regime at small strain rates to inertia-dominated flow at larger strain rates. The same cross-over is observed as a function of the lubrication range $h_c$. At the same time, but only at high densities close to jamming, particle velocity as well as local density distributions are unaffected by changes in the lubrication range -- they are "universal". At densities away from jamming, this universality is lost: short-range lubrication forces lead to pronounced particle clustering, while longer-ranged lubrication does not. These findings highlight the importance of "geometric" packing constraints for particle motion -- independent of the specific dissipation model. With the free volume vanishing at random-close packing, particle motion is more and more constrained by the ever smaller amount of free space. On the other side, macroscopic rheological observables, as well as higher-order correlation functions retain the variability of the underlying dissipation model.
    11/2013;
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    Claus Heussinger
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    ABSTRACT: We consider the shear rheology of concentrated suspensions of non-Brownian frictional particles. The key result of our study is the emergence of a pronounced shear-thickening regime, where frictionless particles would normally undergo shear-thinning. We clarify that shear thickening in our simulations is due to enhanced energy dissipation via frictional inter-particle forces. Moreover, we evidence the formation of dynamically correlated particle-clusters of size $\xi$, which contribute to shear thickening via an increase in \emph{viscous} dissipation. A scaling argument gives $\eta\sim \xi^2$, which is in very good agreement with the data.
    Physical Review E 07/2013; 88(5). · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    Jan Plagge, Claus Heussinger
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    ABSTRACT: Driven granular systems readily form glassy phases at high particle volume fractions and low driving amplitudes. We use computer simulations of a driven granular glass to evidence a re-entrance melting transition into a fluid state, which, contrary to intuition, occurs by \emph{reducing} the amplitude of the driving. This transition is accompanied by anomalous particle dynamics and super-diffusive behavior on intermediate time-scales. We highlight the special role played by frictional interactions, which help particles to escape their glassy cages. Such an effect is in striking contrast to what friction is expected to do: reduce particle mobility by making them stick.
    Physical Review Letters 10/2012; 110(7). · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    Claus Heussinger
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanical properties of cells are dominated by the cytoskeleton, an interconnected network of long elastic filaments. The connections between the filaments are provided by crosslinking proteins, which constitute, next to the filaments, the second important mechanical element of the network. An important aspect of cytoskeletal assemblies is their dynamic nature, which allows remodeling in response to external cues. The reversible nature of crosslink binding is an important mechanism that underlies these dynamical processes. Here, we develop a theoretical model that provides insight into how the mechanical properties of cytoskeletal networks may depend on their underlying constituting elements. We incorporate three important ingredients: nonaffine filament deformations in response to network strain; interplay between filament and crosslink mechanical properties; reversible crosslink (un)binding in response to imposed stress. With this we are able to self-consistently calculate the nonlinear modulus of the network as a function of deformation amplitude and crosslink as well as filament stiffnesses. During loading crosslink unbinding processes lead to a relaxation of stress and therefore to a reduction of the network modulus and eventually to network failure, when all crosslink are unbound. This softening due to crosslink unbinding generically competes with an inherent stiffening response, which may either be due to filament or crosslink nonlinear elasticity.
    New Journal of Physics 09/2012; 14(9). · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    Richard L C Vink, Claus Heussinger
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    ABSTRACT: We consider a biopolymer bundle consisting of filaments that are cross-linked together. The cross-links are reversible: they can dynamically bind and unbind adjacent filament pairs as controlled by a binding enthalpy. The bundle is subjected to a bending deformation and the corresponding distribution of cross-links is measured. For a bundle consisting of two filaments, upon increasing the bending amplitude, a first-order transition is observed. The transition is from a state where the filaments are tightly coupled by many bound cross-links, to a state of nearly independent filaments with only a few bound cross-links. For a bundle consisting of more than two filaments, a series of first-order transitions is observed. The transitions are connected with the formation of an interface between regions of low and high cross-link densities. Combining umbrella sampling Monte Carlo simulations with analytical calculations, we present a detailed picture of how the competition between cross-link shearing and filament stretching drives the transitions. We also find that, when the cross-links become soft, collective behavior is not observed: the cross-links then unbind one after the other leading to a smooth decrease of the average cross-link density.
    The Journal of Chemical Physics 01/2012; 136(3):035102. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    Bruno Andreotti, Jean-Louis Barrat, Claus Heussinger
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    ABSTRACT: The dynamical mechanisms controlling the rheology of dense suspensions close to jamming are investigated numerically, using simplified models for the relevant dissipative forces. We show that the velocity fluctuations control the dissipation rate and therefore the effective viscosity of the suspension. These fluctuations are similar in quasi-static simulations and for finite strain rate calculations with various damping schemes. We conclude that the statistical properties of grain trajectories -- in particular the critical exponent of velocity fluctuations with respect to volume fraction \phi -- only weakly depend on the dissipation mechanism. Rather they are determined by steric effects, which are the main driving forces in the quasistatic simulations. The critical exponent of the suspension viscosity with respect to \phi can then be deduced, and is consistent with experimental data.
    Physical Review Letters 12/2011; 109(10). · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    Claus Heussinger, Gregory M Grason
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    ABSTRACT: Inspired by the complex influence of the globular crosslinking proteins on the formation of biofilament bundles in living organisms, we study and analyze a theoretical model for the structure and thermodynamics of bundles of helical filaments assembled in the presence of crosslinking molecules. The helical structure of filaments, a universal feature of biopolymers such as filamentous actin, is shown to generically frustrate the geometry of crosslinking between the "grooves" of two neighboring filaments. We develop a coarse-grained model to investigate the interplay between the geometry of binding and mechanics of both linker and filament distortion, and we show that crosslinking in parallel bundles of helical filaments generates intrinsic torques, of the type that tend to wind the bundle superhelically about its central axis. Crosslinking mediates a non-linear competition between the preference for bundle twist and the size-dependent mechanical cost of filament bending, which in turn gives rise to feedback between the global twist of self-assembled bundles and their lateral size. Finally, we demonstrate that above a critical density of bound crosslinkers, twisted bundles form with a thermodynamically preferred radius that, in turn, increases with a further increase in crosslinking bonds. We identify the stiffness of crosslinking bonds as a key parameter governing the sensitivity of bundle structure and assembly to the availability and affinity of crosslinkers.
    The Journal of Chemical Physics 07/2011; 135(3):035104. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    Claus Heussinger
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    ABSTRACT: Combining simulations and theory I study the interplay between bundle elastic degrees of freedom and crosslink binding propensity. By slowly driving bundles into a deformed configuration, and depending on the mechanical stiffness of the crosslinking agent, the binding affinity is shown to display a sudden and discontinuous drop. This indicates a cooperative unbinding process that involves the crossing of a free-energy barrier. Choosing the proper crosslinker therefore not only allows us to change the composite elastic properties of the bundle but also the relevant time scales which can be tuned from the single crosslink binding rate to the much longer escape time over the free-energy barrier.
    Physical Review E 05/2011; 83(5 Pt 1):050902. · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: F-actin bundles are prominent cytoskeletal structures in eukaryotes. They provide mechanical stability in stereocilia, microvilli, filopodia, stress fibers and the sperm acrosome. Bundles are typically stabilized by a wide range of specific crosslinking proteins, most of which exhibit off-rates on the order of 1s(-1). Yet F-actin bundles exhibit structural and mechanical integrity on time scales that are orders of magnitude longer. By applying large deformations to reconstituted F-actin bundles using optical tweezers, we provide direct evidence of their differential mechanical response in vitro: bundles exhibit fully reversible, elastic response on short time scales and irreversible, elasto-plastic response on time scales that are long compared to the characteristic crosslink dissociation time. Our measurements show a broad range of characteristic relaxation times for reconstituted F-actin bundles. This can be reconciled by considering that bundle relaxation behavior is also modulated by the number of filaments, crosslinking type and occupation number as well as the consideration of defects due to filament ends.
    Biophysics of Structure and Mechanism 01/2011; 40(1):93-101. · 2.44 Impact Factor
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    E M Huisman, C Heussinger, C Storm, G T Barkema
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    ABSTRACT: Inspired by the ubiquity of composite filamentous networks in nature, we investigate models of biopolymer networks that consist of interconnected floppy and stiff filaments. Numerical simulations carried out in three dimensions allow us to explore the microscopic partitioning of stresses and strains between the stiff and floppy fractions cs and cf and reveal a nontrivial relationship between the mechanical behavior and the relative fraction of stiff polymer: when there are few stiff polymers, nonpercolated stiff "inclusions" are protected from large deformations by an encompassing floppy matrix, while at higher fractions of stiff material the stiff network is independently percolated and dominates the mechanical response.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2010; 105(11):118101. · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    Claus Heussinger, Felix Schüller, Erwin Frey
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    ABSTRACT: Bundles of filamentous polymers are primary structural components of a broad range of cytoskeletal structures, and their mechanical properties play key roles in cellular functions ranging from locomotion to mechanotransduction and fertilization. We give a detailed derivation of a wormlike bundle model as a generic description for the statics and dynamics of polymer bundles consisting of semiflexible polymers interconnected by crosslinking agents. The elastic degrees of freedom include bending as well as twist deformations of the filaments and shear deformation of the crosslinks. We show that a competition between the elastic properties of the filaments and those of the crosslinks leads to renormalized effective bend and twist rigidities that become mode-number dependent. The strength and character of this dependence is found to vary with bundle architecture, such as the arrangement of filaments in the cross section and pretwist. We discuss two paradigmatic cases of bundle architecture, a uniform arrangement of filaments as found in F -actin bundles and a shell-like architecture as characteristic for microtubules. Each architecture is found to have its own universal ratio of maximal to minimal bending rigidity, independent of the specific type of crosslink-induced filament coupling; our predictions are in reasonable agreement with available experimental data for microtubules. Moreover, we analyze the predictions of the wormlike bundle model for experimental observables such as the tangent-tangent correlation function and dynamic response and correlation functions. Finally, we analyze the effect of pretwist (helicity) on the mechanical properties of bundles. We predict that microtubules with different number of protofilaments should have distinct variations in their effective bending rigidity.
    Physical Review E 02/2010; 81(2 Pt 1):021904. · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    Claus Heussinger, Ludovic Berthier, Jean-Louis Barrat
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    ABSTRACT: We use computer simulations to study the microscopic dynamics of an athermal assembly of soft particles near the fluid-to-solid, jamming transition. Borrowing tools developed to study dynamic heterogeneity near glass transitions, we discover a number of original signatures of the jamming transition at the particle scale. We observe superdiffusive, spatially heterogeneous, and collective particle motion over a characteristic scale which displays a surprising non-monotonic behavior across the transition. In the solid phase, the dynamics is an intermittent succession of elastic deformations and plastic relaxations, which are both characterized by scale-free spatial correlations and system size dependent dynamic susceptibilities. Our results show that dynamic heterogeneities in dense athermal systems and glass-formers are very different, and shed light on recent experimental reports of `anomalous' dynamical behavior near the jamming transition of granular and colloidal assemblies.
    EPL (Europhysics Letters) 01/2010; · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    Claus Heussinger, Pinaki Chaudhuri, Jean-Louis Barrat
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    ABSTRACT: We present a numerical study of the flow of an assembly of frictionless soft discs at zero temperature, in the vicinity of and slightly above the jamming density. We find that some of the flow properties, such as the fluctuations in the number of contacts or the shear modulus, display a critical like behaviour that is governed by the proximity to the jamming point. Dynamical correlations during a quasistatic deformation, however, are non critical and dominated by system size. At finite strain rates, these dynamical correlations acquire a finite, strain-rate dependent amplitude, that decreases when approaching the jamming point from above. Comment: Manuscript submitted to the themed Issue on granular and jammed materials of Soft Matter
    Soft Matter 01/2010; · 4.15 Impact Factor
  • Claus Heussinger, Pinaki Chaudhuri, Jean-Louis Barrat
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    ABSTRACT: We present a numerical study of the flow of an assembly of frictionless grains at zero temperature, in the vicinity of and slightly above the jamming density. We find that some of the flow properties, such as the fluctuations in the number of contacts or the shear modulus, display a critical like behaviour that is governed by the proximity to the jamming point. Dynamical correlations during a quasistatic deformation, however, are non critical and dominated by system size. At finite strain rates, these dynamical correlations acquire a finite, strain-rate dependent amplitude, that decreases when approaching the jamming point from above.
    01/2010;
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    Claus Heussinger, Jean-Louis Barrat
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    ABSTRACT: We study the rheology of amorphous packings of soft, frictionless particles close to jamming. Implementing a quasistatic simulation method we generate a well-defined ensemble of states that directly samples the system at its yield stress. A continuous jamming transition from a freely flowing state to a yield-stress situation takes place at a well-defined packing fraction, where the scaling laws characteristic of isostatic solids are observed. We propose that long-range correlations observed below the transition are dominated by this isostatic point, while those that are observed above the transition are characteristic of dense, disordered elastic media.
    Physical Review Letters 06/2009; 102(21):218303. · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanical properties of cytoskeletal actin bundles play an essential role in numerous physiological processes, including hearing, fertilization, cell migration, and growth. Cells employ a multitude of actin-binding proteins to actively regulate bundle dimensions and cross-linking properties to suit biological function. The mechanical properties of actin bundles vary by orders of magnitude depending on diameter and length, cross-linking protein type and concentration, and constituent filament properties. Despite their importance to cell function, the molecular design principles responsible for this mechanical behavior remain unknown. Here, we examine the mechanics of cytoskeletal bundles using a molecular-based model that accounts for the discrete nature of constituent actin filaments and their distinct cross-linking proteins. A generic competition between filament stretching and cross-link shearing determines three markedly different regimes of mechanical response that are delineated by the relative values of two simple design parameters, revealing the universal nature of bundle-bending mechanics. In each regime, bundle-bending stiffness displays distinct scaling behavior with respect to bundle dimensions and molecular composition, as observed in reconstituted actin bundles in vitro. This mechanical behavior has direct implications on the physiological bending, buckling, and entropic stretching behavior of cytoskeletal processes, as well as reconstituted actin systems. Results are used to predict the bending regimes of various in vivo cytoskeletal bundles that are not easily accessible to experiment and to generate hypotheses regarding implications of the isolated behavior on in vivo bundle function.
    Biophysical Journal 05/2008; 94(8):2955-64. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    Claus Heussinger, Boris Schaefer, Erwin Frey
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    ABSTRACT: We present a theory for the elasticity of cross-linked stiff polymer networks. Stiff polymers, unlike their flexible counterparts, are highly anisotropic elastic objects. Similar to mechanical beams, stiff polymers easily deform in bending, while they are much stiffer with respect to tensile forces ("stretching"). Unlike in previous approaches, where network elasticity is derived from the stretching mode, our theory properly accounts for the soft bending response. A self-consistent effective medium approach is used to calculate the macroscopic elastic moduli starting from a microscopic characterization of the deformation field in terms of "floppy modes"-low-energy bending excitations that retain a high degree of nonaffinity. The length scale characterizing the emergent nonaffinity is given by the "fiber length" lf, defined as the scale over which the polymers remain straight. The calculated scaling properties for the shear modulus are in excellent agreement with the results of recent simulations obtained in two-dimensional model networks. Furthermore, our theory can be applied to rationalize bulk rheological data in reconstituted actin networks.
    Physical Review E 10/2007; 76(3 Pt 1):031906. · 2.31 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

449 Citations
98.39 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2013
    • Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
      • Institute for Theoretical Physics
      Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany
    • Paris Diderot University
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2010–2011
    • University of Lyon
      Lyons, Rhône-Alpes, France
  • 2009–2010
    • French National Centre for Scientific Research
      • Laboratoire Charles Coulomb
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2006–2010
    • Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich
      • Department of Physics
      München, Bavaria, Germany