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Institut für Physiologie und Pathophysiologie

Mathematical Modelling

Computational Methods are particularly useful in close combination with experimental techniques. This allows the direct input of latest experimental results into the model and vice versa. Therefore, we are developing models for calcium regulation or actin-myosin interaction in parallel to our fluorescence microscopy experiments.


Calcium regulation

Calcium ions inside the cell are present in various different "states". In addition to the free ions, calcium is also bound to several intrinsic and extrinsic calcium-binding sites (of which the fluorescence indicator is very often the most important one). Calcium ions can also be sequestered in intracellular membrane-bound organelles, for example, mitochondria, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), or the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) of muscle fibers.


All these parameters have to be taken into account for the development of suitable models for the complex process of intracellular calcium regulation. As only calcium ions bound to the fluorescence indicator can be experimentally measured, all other quantities have to be derived from these model calculations.


The mathematical treatment requires an intelligent simplification of the associated differential equations using inherent symmetries, like cylindrical symmetry in skeletal muscle. Numerical solutions can finally be obtained with the help of a suitable discrete grid for time and space.





Modeling molecular motors

Muscle contraction is based on the interaction of only two proteins: actin and myosin. However, there are a number of associated proteins that are responsible for the regulation and tuning of this molecular motor. We are interested in developing a “motility model” that integrates various factors influencing the speed of shortening and force generation.


Neue Publikationen


Endothelial progenitor cells accelerate endothelial regeneration in an in vitro model of Shigatoxin-2a-induced injury via soluble growth factors. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2018 Mar 7. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00633.2017. [Epub ahead of print]


Astrocytic glutamine synthetase is expressed in the neuronal somatic layers and down-regulated proportionally to neuronal loss in the human epileptic hippocampus. Glia. 2018 May;66(5):920-933. doi: 10.1002/glia.23292. Epub 2018 Jan 19.


Expansion of functional personalized cells with specific transgene combinations. Nat Commun. 2018 Mar 8;9(1):994. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03408-4.


Impact of carbonylation on glutathione peroxidase-1 activity in human hyperglycemic endothelial cells. Redox Biol. 2018 Feb 27;16:113-122. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2018.02.018. [Epub ahead of print]


Respiration-Entrained Brain Rhythms Are Global but Often Overlooked. Trends Neurosci. 2018 Feb 8. pii: S0166-2236(18)30031-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2018.01.007. [Epub ahead of print] Review.


Modulation of glutathione peroxidase activity by age-dependent carbonylation in glomeruli of diabetic mice. J Diabetes Complications. 2018 Feb;32(2):130-138. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2017.11.007. Epub 2017 Nov 22.


Bringing European physiologists together. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2018 Jan 29. doi: 10.1111/apha.13043. [Epub ahead of print]


Role of protein carbonylation in diabetes. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2018 Jan;41(1):29-38. doi: 10.1007/s10545-017-0104-9. Epub 2017 Nov 6.


Sensitive mass spectrometric assay for determination of 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-prostaglandin J2 and its application in human plasma samples of patients with diabetes. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2018 Jan;410(2):521-528. doi: 10.1007/s00216-017-0748-1. Epub 2017 Nov 16.


Hypertension-evoked RhoA activity in vascular smooth muscle cells requires RGS5. FASEB J. 2017 Dec 5. pii: fj.201700384RR. doi: 10.1096/fj.201700384RR. [Epub ahead of print]

Institut für
Physiologie und Pathophysiologie

Universität Heidelberg

Im Neuenheimer Feld 326

69120 Heidelberg

Telefon:+49 6221 54-4035
Telefax:+49 6221 54-4038