An integrative model of the self-sustained oscillating contractions of cardiac myocytes

Acta Biotheoretica 53 (4) (2005)
Abstract
Computational cell models appear as necessary tools for handling the complexity of intracellular cell dynamics, especially calcium dynamics. However, while oscillating intracellular calcium oscillations are well documented and modelled, a simple enough virtual cell taking into account the mechano-chemical coupling between calcium oscillations and cell mechanical properties is still lacking. Considering the spontaneous periodic contraction of isolated cardiac myocytes, we propose here a virtual cardiac cell model in which the cellular contraction is modelled using an hyperelastic description of the cell mechanical behaviour. According to the experimental data, the oscillating cytosolic calcium concentrations trigger the spatio-temporal variation of the anisotropic intracellular stresses. The finite element simulations of the virtual cell deformations are compared to the self-sustained contractions of isolated rat cardiomyocytes recorded by time-lapse video-microscopy.
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