Modular and programmable material systems drawing from the architecture of skeletal muscle

Narayanan Kidambi, Ryan L. Harne, Kon Well Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The passive attributes of skeletal muscle "material" often have origins in nanoscale architecture and functionality where geometric frustrations directly influence macroscale mechanical properties. Drawing from concepts of the actomyosin network, this study investigates a modular, architected material system that leverages spatial constraints to generate multiple stable material topologies and to yield large adaptability of material mechanical properties. By exploiting the shearing actions induced on an actomyosin-inspired assembly of modular material constituents, intriguing material behaviors are cultivated, including strong metastability and energy-releasing state transitions. Experimental, numerical, and analytical studies reveal that such passive attributes can be tailored by geometric constraints imposed on the modular material system. The geometric parameters can also introduce a bias to the deformations, enabling a programmable response. By invoking the spatial constraints and oblique, shearlike motions inherent to skeletal muscle architecture, this research uncovers potential for architected material systems that exploit locally tunable properties to achieve targeted macroscopic behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number043001
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 9 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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