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Miquel Marchena: Development of a computational model of calcium signaling in cardiac cells at the submicron scale

Miquel Marchena successfully defended his Master thesis of the Master on Atomistic and Multiscale Computational Modelling in Physics, Chemistry and Biochemistry, in the in July 2016.

Title:

Development of a computational model of calcium signaling in cardiac cells at the submicron scale

Abstract:

Calcium is a key element of biological signaling. Cells have a calcium signaling toolkit with many components that can be mixed and matched to create a wide range of spatial and temporal signals. Inside the cell, the release of calcium occurs in a small space around the ryanodine receptors and L-type calcium channels. In cardiac cells, these micro domains are called dyadic clefts, where the control of calcium release takes place. In this project a whole cell model in the submicron scale has been developed in order to describe the dynamic in these micro domains. Specifically, this bidomain model of calcium concentration works with the cytoplasm and the sarcoplasmic reticulum. The homogenized macroscopic behavior is described in a two-concentration field model, using an effective diffusion coefficients of calcium in the SR and in the cytoplasm. The effects of buffering have also been taken into account. Results show the typical traces of calcium in the cytoplasm and the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Global concentrations fit with experimental data.