Filament turnover is essential for continuous long range contractile flow in a model actomyosin cortex
In this paper, we develop and analyze a minimal model for a 2D network of cross-linked actin filaments and myosin motors, representing the cortical cytoskeleton of eukaryotic cells. We implement coarse-grained representations of force production by myosin motors and stress dissipation through an effective cross-link friction and filament turnover. We use this model to characterize how the sustained production of active stress, and the steady dissipation of elastic stress, depend individually on motor activity, effective cross-link friction and filament turnover. Then we combine these results to gain insights into how microscopic network parameters control steady state flow produced by asymmetric distributions of motor activity. Our results provide a framework for understanding how local modulation of microscopic interactions within contractile networks control macroscopic quantities like active stress and effective viscosity to control cortical deformation and flow at cellular scales.