3 April 2013 Network modeling of membrane-based artificial cellular systems
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Computational models are derived for predicting the behavior of artificial cellular networks for engineering applications. The systems simulated involve the use of a biomolecular unit cell, a multiphase material that incorporates a lipid bilayer between two hydrophilic compartments. These unit cells may be considered building blocks that enable the fabrication of complex electrochemical networks. These networks can incorporate a variety of stimuli-responsive biomolecules to enable a diverse range of multifunctional behavior. Through the collective properties of these biomolecules, the system demonstrates abilities that recreate natural cellular phenomena such as mechanotransduction, optoelectronic response, and response to chemical gradients. A crucial step to increase the utility of these biomolecular networks is to develop mathematical models of their stimuli-responsive behavior. While models have been constructed deriving from the classical Hodgkin-Huxley model focusing on describing the system as a combination of traditional electrical components (capacitors and resistors), these electrical elements do not sufficiently describe the phenomena seen in experiment as they are not linked to the molecular scale processes. From this realization an advanced model is proposed that links the traditional unit cell parameters such as conductance and capacitance to the molecular structure of the system. Rather than approaching the membrane as an isolated parallel plate capacitor, the model seeks to link the electrical properties to the underlying chemical characteristics. This model is then applied towards experimental cases in order that a more complete picture of the underlying phenomena responsible for the desired sensing mechanisms may be constructed. In this way the stimuli-responsive characteristics may be understood and optimized.
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Eric C. Freeman, Eric C. Freeman, Michael K. Philen, Michael K. Philen, Donald J. Leo, Donald J. Leo, "Network modeling of membrane-based artificial cellular systems", Proc. SPIE 8689, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2013, 86890G (3 April 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2010702; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2010702

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