Perversions with a twist

Pedro E. S. Silva, João L. Trigueiros, Ana C. Trindade, Ricardo Simões, Ricardo G. Dias, Maria Helena Godinho, Fernao Vistulo De Abreu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23413
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2016


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