Linear viscoelastic response of the vertex model with internal and external dissipation: Normal modes analysis

Sijie Tong, Rastko Sknepnek, Andrej Košmrlj

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1 Scopus citations


We use the normal mode formalism to study the shear rheology of the vertex model for epithelial tissue mechanics in the overdamped linear response regime. We consider systems with external (e.g., cell-substrate) and internal (e.g., cell-cell) dissipation mechanisms, and derive expressions for stresses on cells due to mechanical and dissipative forces. The semi-analytical method developed here is, however, general and can be directly applied to study the linear response of a broad class of soft matter systems with internal and external dissipation. It involves normal mode decomposition to calculate linear loss and storage moduli of the system. Specifically, displacements along each normal mode produce stresses due to elastic deformation and internal dissipation, which are in force balance with loads due to external dissipation. Each normal mode responds with a characteristic relaxation timescale, and its rheological behavior can be described as a combination of a standard linear solid element due to elastic stresses and a Jeffreys model element due to the internal dissipative stresses. The total response of the system is then fully determined by connecting in parallel all the viscoelastic elements corresponding to individual normal modes. This allows full characterization of the potentially complex linear rheological response of the system at all driving frequencies and identification of collective excitations. We show that internal and external dissipation mechanisms lead to qualitatively different rheological behaviors due to the presence or absence of Jeffreys elements, which is particularly pronounced at high driving frequencies. Our findings, therefore, underscore the importance of microscopic dissipation mechanisms in understanding the rheological behavior of soft materials and tissues, in particular.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number013143
JournalPhysical Review Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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