MODLE REDUCTION IN BIOMECHANICS Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 21, 2019
Creator
  • Feng, Yan
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Mathematics
Abstract
  • The mechanical characteristic of the cell is primarily performed by the cytoskeleton. Microtubules, actin, and intermediate filaments are the three main cytoskeletal polymers. Of these, microtubules are the stiffest and have multiple functions within a cell that include: providing tracks for intracellular transport, transmitting the mechanical force necessary for cell division during mitosis, and providing sufficient stiffness for propulsion in flagella and cilia. Microtubule mechanics has been studied by a variety of methods: detailed molecular dynamics (MD), coarse-grained models, engineering type models, and elastic continuum models. In principle, atomistic MD simulations should be able to predict all desired mechanical properties of a single molecule, however, in practice the large computational resources are required to carry out a simulation of larger biomolecular system. Due to the limited accessibility using even the most ambitious all-atom models and the demand for the multiscale molecular modeling and simulation, the emergence of the reduced models is critically important to provide the capability for investigating the biomolecular dynamics that are critical to many biological processes. Then the coarse-grained models, such as elastic network models and anisotropic network models, have been shown to bequite accurate in predicting microtubule mechanical response, but still requires significant computational resources. On the other hand, the microtubule is treated as comprising materials with certain continuum material properties. Such continuum models, especially Euler-Bernoulli beam models, are often used to extract mechanical parameters from experimental results. The microtubule is treated as comprising materials with certain continuum material properties. Such continuum models, especially Euler-Bernoulli beam models in which the biomolecular system is assumed as homogeneous isotropic materials with solid cross-sections, are often used to extract mechanical parameters from experimental results. However, in real biological world, these homogeneous and isotropic assumptions are usually invalidate. Thus, instead of using hypothesized model, a specific continuum model at mesoscopic scale can be introduced based upon data reduction of the results from molecular simulations at atomistic level. Once a continuum model is established, it can provide details on the distribution of stresses and strains induced within the biomolecular system which is useful in determining the distribution and transmission of these forces to the cytoskeletal and sub-cellular components, and help us gain a better understanding in cell mechanics. A data-driven model reduction approach to the problem of microtubule mechanics as an application is present, a beam element is constructed for microtubules based upon data reduction of the results from molecular simulation of the carbon backbone chain of αβ-tubulin dimers. The data base of mechanical responses to various types of loads from molecular simulation is reduced to dominant modes. The dominant modes are subsequently used to construct the stiffness matrix of a beam element that captures the anisotropic behavior and deformation mode coupling that arises from a microtubule’s spiral structure. In contrast to standard Euler-Bernoulli or Timoshenko beam elements, the link between forces and node displacements results not from hypothesized deformation behavior, but directly from the data obtained by molecular scale simulation. Differences between the resulting microtubule data-driven beam model (MTDDBM) and standard beam elements are presented, with a focus on coupling of bending, stretch, shear deformations. The MTDDBM is just as economical to use as a standard beam element, and allows accurate reconstruction of the mechanical behavior of structures within a cell as exemplified in a simple model of a component element of the mitotic spindle.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Newhall, Katherine
  • Rodriguez, Nancy
  • Superfine, Richard
  • Falvo, Michael
  • Mitran, Sorin
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2017
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