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Mechanical Instability of Thin Elastic Rods
     
 
Wanliang Shan and Zi Chen
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA,
Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
shanwanliang@gmail.com
Mechanical instability of elastic rods has been subjected to extensive investigations and demonstrated fundamental roles in cytoskeletal mechanics and morphogenesis. Utilizing this instability also has great potential in engineering applications such as stretchable electronics. Here in this review, the fundamental theory underlying twisting and buckling instability of thin elastic rods is described. We then bridge together recent progresses in both theoretical and experimental studies on the topic. The promises and challenges in future studies of large deformation and buckling instability of thin rods are also discussed.
 
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