A multiscale computational model of spatially resolved calcium cycling in cardiac myocytes: from detailed cleft dynamics to the whole cell concentration profiles


  • J. Vierheller
  • W. Neubert
  • M. Falcke
  • S.H. Gilbert
  • N. Chamakuri


  • Frontiers in Physiology


  • Front Physiol 6: 255


  • Mathematical modeling of excitation-contraction coupling (ECC) in ventricular cardiac myocytes is a multiscale problem, and it is therefore difficult to develop spatially detailed simulation tools. ECC involves gradients on the length scale of 100 nm in dyadic spaces and concentration profiles along the 100 {my}m of the whole cell, as well as the sub-millisecond time scale of local concentration changes and the change of lumenal Ca(2+) content within tens of seconds. Our concept for a multiscale mathematical model of Ca(2+) -induced Ca(2+) release (CICR) and whole cardiomyocyte electrophysiology incorporates stochastic simulation of individual LC- and RyR-channels, spatially detailed concentration dynamics in dyadic clefts, rabbit membrane potential dynamics, and a system of partial differential equations for myoplasmic and lumenal free Ca(2+) and Ca(2+)-binding molecules in the bulk of the cell. We developed a novel computational approach to resolve the concentration gradients from dyadic space to cell level by using a quasistatic approximation within the dyad and finite element methods for integrating the partial differential equations. We show whole cell Ca(2+)-concentration profiles using three previously published RyR-channel Markov schemes.