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Collective force generated by multiple biofilaments can exceed the sum of forces due to individual ones.

Collective dynamics and force generation by cytoskeletal filaments are crucial in many cellular processes. Investigating growth dynamics of a bundle of N independent cytoskeletal filaments pushing against a wall, we show that ATP/GTP hydrolysis leads to a collective phenomenon that is currently unknown. Obtaining force-velocity relations for different models that capture chemical switching, we show, analytically and numerically, that the collective stall force of N filaments is greater than N times the stall force of a single filament. Simulating growing actin and microtubule bundles, considering both sequential and random hydrolysis, we make quantitative predictions of the excess forces.