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Intracellular calcium (Ca) cycling dynamics in cardiac myocytes is regulated by a complex network of spatially distributed organelles, such as sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), mitochondria, and myofibrils. In this study, we present a mathematical model of intracellular Ca cycling and numerical and computational methods for computer simulations. The model consists of a coupled Ca release unit (CRU) network, which includes a SR domain and a myoplasm domain. Each CRU contains 10 L-type Ca channels and 100 ryanodine receptor channels, with individual channels simulated stochastically using a variant of Gillespie’s method, modified here to handle time-dependent transition rates. Both the SR domain and the myoplasm domain in each CRU are modeled by 5 × 5 × 5 voxels to maintain proper Ca diffusion. Advanced numerical algorithms implemented on graphical processing units were used for fast computational simulations. For a myocyte containing 100 × 20 × 10 CRUs, a 1-s heart time simulation takes about 10 min of machine time on a single NVIDIA Tesla C2050. Examples of simulated Ca cycling dynamics, such as Ca sparks, Ca waves, and Ca alternans, are shown.

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© 2012 Nivala, de Lange, Rovetti and Qu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License

Recommended Citation

Nivala M., de Lange E., Rovetti R. and Qu Z. (2012). Computational modeling and numerical methods for spatiotemporal calcium cycling in ventricular myocytes. Front. Physio. 3:114. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2012.00114

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