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Obermayer, Benedikt; Frey, Erwin (October 2009): Tension dynamics and viscoelasticity of extensible wormlike chains. In: Physical Review E, Vol. 80, No. 4: 040801-1-040801-4


The dynamic response of prestressed semiflexible biopolymers is characterized by the propagation and relaxation of tension, which arises due to the near inextensibility of a stiff backbone. It is coupled to the dynamics of contour length stored in thermal undulations but also to the local relaxation of elongational strain. We present a systematic theory of tension dynamics for stiff yet extensible wormlike chains. Our results show that even moderate prestress gives rise to distinct Rouse-like extensibility signatures in the high-frequency viscoelastic response.