Title: Mechanical Force Production in a Biomimetic Cell Cytoskeleton
Abstract: While the molecular interactions between myosin motors and Factin are well known, the relationship between Factin organization and myosin-mediated force generation remains poorly understood. Here, we explore the accumulation of myosin-induced stresses within a 2D biomimetic model of the actomyosin cortex, where myosin activity is controlled spatially and temporally using light. By controlling the geometry and the duration of myosin activation, we show that contraction of disordered actomyosin is highly cooperative, telescopic with the activation area and generates a pattern of mechanical stresses consistent with those observed in contractile cells. We quantitatively reproduce these properties using an in vitro isotropic model of the actomyosin cytoskeleton, and explore the physical origins of telescopic contractility in disordered networks using agent-based simulations.