A calcium-driven mechanochemical model for prediction of force generation in smooth muscle.

Biomech Model Mechanobiol 2010 Dec 31;9(6):749-62. Epub 2010 Mar 31.

Department of Solid Mechanics, School of Engineering Sciences, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Osquars Backe 1, 100 44, Stockholm, Sweden.

A new model for the mechanochemical response of smooth muscle is presented. The focus is on the response of the actin-myosin complex and on the related generation of force (or stress). The chemical (kinetic) model describes the cross-bridge interactions with the thin filament in which the calcium-dependent myosin phosphorylation is the only regulatory mechanism. The new mechanical model is based on Hill's three-component model and it includes one internal state variable that describes the contraction/relaxation of the contractile units. It is characterized by a strain-energy function and an evolution law incorporating only a few material parameters with clear physical meaning. The proposed model satisfies the second law of thermodynamics. The results of the combined coupled model are broadly consistent with isometric and isotonic experiments on smooth muscle tissue. The simulations suggest that the matrix in which the actin-myosin complex is embedded does have a viscous property. It is straightforward for implementation into a finite element program in order to solve more complex boundary-value problems such as the control of short-term changes in lumen diameter of arteries due to mechanochemical signals.

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December 2010
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