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Title: Designing allostery-inspired response in mechanical networks

Recent advances in designing metamaterials have demonstrated that global mechanical properties of disordered spring networks can be tuned by selectively modifying only a small subset of bonds. Here, using a computationally efficient approach, we extend this idea to tune more general properties of networks. With nearly complete success, we are then able to produce a strain between any two target nodes in a network in response to an applied source strain on any other pair of nodes by removing only ~1% of the bonds. We are also able to control multiple pairs of target nodes, each with a different individual response, from a single source, and to tune multiple independent source/target responses simultaneously into a network. We have fabricated physical networks in macroscopic 2D and 3D systems that exhibit these responses. This work is inspired by the long-range coupled conformational changes that constitute allosteric function in proteins. The fact that allostery is a common means for regulation in biological molecules suggests that it is a relatively easy property to develop through evolution. In analogy, our results show that long-range coupled mechanical responses are similarly easy to achieve in disordered networks.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
  2. Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States). Dept. of Physics
  3. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
  4. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States). School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-05ER46199; FG02-03ER46088; 305547; 327939; 60NANB15D055
Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 114; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Research Org:
Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (United States); Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Materials Sciences & Engineering Division; Inst. for Advanced Study (IAS) The Simons Center for Systems Biology, Princeton, NJ (United States); Simons Foundation; National Science Foundation (NSF); National Inst. of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; 74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS; mechanical metamaterials; allostery; tunable response; proteins; disordered networks
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1430120