Perversions with a twist

PES Silva and JL Trigueiros and AC Trindade and R Simoes and RG Dias and MH Godinho and FV de Abreu, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 6, 23413 (2016).

DOI: 10.1038/srep23413

Perversions connecting two helices with symmetric handedness are a common occurrence in nature, for example in tendrils. These defects can be found in our day life decorating ribbon gifts or when plants use tendrils to attach to a support. Perversions arise when clamped elastic filaments coil into a helical shape but have to conserve zero overall twist. We investigate whether other types of perversions exist and if they display different properties. Here we show mathematically and experimentally that a continuous range of different perversions can exist and present different geometries. Experimentally, different perversions were generated using micro electrospun fibres. Our experimental results also confirm that these perversions behave differently upon release and adopt different final configurations. These results also demonstrate that it is possible to control on demand the formation and shape of microfilaments, in particular, of electrospun fibres by using ultraviolet light.

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