Research Projects (Third party funds)

Project

Inducing synchrony of coupled excitable cells by noise

The coordination of signals between different cells is essential in many examples like endothelial cells or pancreatic β-cells in the islets of Langerhans. In healthy conditions, connected  β-cells respond to glucose stimulation with synchronous calcium oscillations, which are required for regulation of blood glucose deregulated in diabetic individuals. In cooperation with Richard Benninger (Denver, USA) we developed a model for β-cells  coupled by gap-junctions.

Currently, we want to determine the conditions of trans-cellular communication that guarantee organ functionality. Each cell is treated as a biological oscillator. Cells connected by delayed gap-junctions can be considered as coupled oscillators. They exhibit correlated oscillations, which are affected by many factors such as number of oscillators, coupling strength, delay, stochastic variation of oscillators, etc. We aim to investigate the impact of these factors on the synchrony level among the oscillators. The results of this generic investigation is applicable to a variety of different systems composed of coupled excitable cells.

Synchronized oscillators in pancreatic islets: The work flow.

Simm members

Jaber Dehghany, Michael Meyer-Hermann, Sahamoddin Khailaie, Ghazal Montaseri, Phillipe A. Robert, Valerii Sukhorukov (until 2016)

Publications

Meyer-Hermann M, Benninger RKP. A mathematical model of betacells in an islet of Langerhans sensing a glucose gradient, HFSP J 4 (2010) 61-71.

Meyer-Hermann M. The electrophysiology of the beta-cell based on single transmembrane protein characteristics. Biophys J 93 (2007) 2952-2968.

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