Solving Calcium Spatiotemporal Diffusion Using COMSOL Multiphysics® Software

L. Garber[1,2], G. S. B. Williams[2], W. J. Lederer[2]
[1]Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA
[2]Center for Biomedical Engineering & Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA
Published in 2014

This project involves a simplified biological problem that was used to test the potential of COMSOL Multiphysics® software for cardiac myocyte spatial modeling. We made several assumptions to simplify the biological complexity and to highlight the geometrical structures (i.e., lack of sarcoplasmic reticulum, lack of contractile apparatus). We explored the role of the t-tubular network on intracellular calcium diffusion. Although t-tubular structures seem to vary in atrial myocyte according to species, in some, including humans, the atrial myocytes seem to have a less organized network of transverse t-tubules in comparison to their ventricular counterpart. Therefore, we use COMSOL to compare calcium diffusion in a simplified cardiac myocyte model with and without t-tubules.