Mechanics of Solids ,
Mechanics of Composite Materials ,
Adhesive joints (stress analysis and optimization) ,
Finite Element simulation ,
Gating mechanism of Mechanosensitive ion channels (MSc) ,
Cellular and molecular bioengineering
In order to eliminate limitations of existing experimental or computational methods (such as patch-clamp technique or molecular dynamic analysis) a finite element (FE) model for multi length-scale and time-scale investigation on the gating mechanism of mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels has been established. Gating force value (from typical patch clamping values) needed to activate Prokaryotic MS ion channels was applied as tensional force to the FE model of the lipid bilayer. Making use of the FE results, we have discussed the effects of the geometrical and the material properties of the Escherichia coli MscL mechanosensitive ion channel opening in relation to the membrane’s Young’s modulus (which will vary depending on the cell type or cholesterol density in an artificial membrane surrounding the MscL ion channel). The FE model has shown that when the cell membrane stiffens the required channel activation force increases considerably. This is in agreement with experimental results taken from the literature. In addition, the present study quantifies the relationship between the membrane stress distribution around a ‘hole’ for modeling purposes and the stress concentration in the place transmembrane proteins attached to the hole by applying an appropriate mesh refinement as well as well defining contact condition in these areas.