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Helix is a very interesting structure. There are many biopolymers that have a helical structure. 

  • How can someone model the helix in mechanics?
  • How can the helix reinforce a rod? 
  • How does this structure reflect the mechanical properties of biopolymers?


In the Cowin and Doty's book "Tissue Mechanics" there is a section related to modelling of spiral structures and issues such as chirality and singularity. While problem is explained from the continuum mechanics' point of view (primarily related to modeling of materials such as wood and horn), the authors provide enough references for further study. The book has it's web site on

I hope this helps.


Thank you vey much for your infos

Andrew Norris's picture

Helical Wormlike Chains in Polymer Solutions, by Yamakawa, Hiromi, Springer 1997

 This book is technical but very informative.   It goes into the details of the WLC model more than any other book that I know of.   

Most libraries don't have t hat book - but a good alternative is the older 1971 text "Modern Theory of Polymer Solutions" by Yamakawa which contains a good deal of the same material and is more introductory.   And the 1971 book is available for FREE in pdf form here


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