Intracellular, extracellular, and membrane forces in remodeling and mechanotransduction: The mechanical bidomain model
In the mechanical bidomain model, cardiac tissue is represented by a macroscopic model that accounts for the microscopic coupling between the extracellular matrix, the cytoskeleton, and integrin proteins in the membrane. We develop this model by considering intracellular and extracellular displacements, u and w, individually. The central hypothesis of the model is that the difference u – w is responsible for the membrane force. In this paper, analytical solutions are provided for two simple problems in biomechanics: a tissue subject to a shear force and a tissue subject to a pressure force. An implementation of the model using finite elements allows the numerical simulation of biomechanics problems. The importance of the mechanical bidomain model lies in its multiscale structure in the form of two coupled systems. This model can be used to study crucial physiological events such as mechanotransduction and tissue remodeling.
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