Dynamic Model for Characterizing Contractile Behaviors and Mechanical Properties of a Cardiomyocyte
Studies on the contractile dynamics of heart cells have attracted broad attention for the development of both heart disease therapies and cardiomyocyte-actuated micro-robotics. In this study, a linear dynamic model of a single cardiomyocyte cell was proposed at the subcellular scale to characterize the contractile behaviors of heart cells, with system parameters representing the mechanical properties of the subcellular components of living cardiomyocytes. The system parameters of the dynamic model were identified with the cellular beating pattern measured by a scanning ion conductance microscope. The experiments were implemented with cardiomyocytes in one control group and two experimental groups with the drugs cytochalasin-D or nocodazole, to identify the system parameters of the model based on scanning ion conductance microscope measurements, measurement of the cellular Young's modulus with atomic force microscopy indentation, measurement of cellular contraction forces using the micro-pillar technique, and immunofluorescence staining and imaging of the cytoskeleton. The proposed mathematical model was both indirectly and qualitatively verified by the variation in cytoskeleton, beating amplitude, and contractility of cardiomyocytes among the control and the experimental groups, as well as directly and quantitatively validated by the simulation and the significant consistency of 90.5% in the comparison between the ratios of the Young's modulus and the equivalent comprehensive cellular elasticities of cells in the experimental groups to those in the control group. Apart from mechanical properties (mass, elasticity, and viscosity) of subcellular structures, other properties of cardiomyocytes have also been studied, such as the properties of the relative action potential pattern and cellular beating frequency. This work has potential implications for research on cytobiology, drug screening, mechanisms of the heart, and cardiomyocyte-based bio-syncretic robotics.
Publisher URL: http://www.cell.com/biophysj/fulltext/S0006-3495(17)31209-2
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