Mathematical modelling at IEMR

Ca wave

The last decades' growth in the amount of experimental data has left us with at least as many new questions as answers and thus triggered an increased interest in mathematical and computational models. Models can help us to identify causal links between, and evaluate the roles of, actors in a system and contribute in hypothesis testing as well as in hypothesis generation.

At IEMR, mathematical modelling is primarily used to study phenomena at the cell level that may cause arrythmia at the organ level. For example we study why and how so-called calcium waves are initiated and propagated across the cell and how disorganisation of the so-called t-tubular network of the heart cell produces a dyssynchronous action potential across the cell. Translation of the physical and physiological properties of the cell and the dynamics of actors such as ion species and membrane channels to a mathematical language and later computer implementation enable the dissemination of the roles these actors have in the physical processes under study, qualitatively as well as quantitatively. As an example we use modelling to understand experimental results on the relation between calcium wave velocity and SERCA, the calcium pump in the sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane.

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