Model of Water and Solute Transport through Live Tissue: Role of Active Transmembrane Transport

Cibele Falkenberg, Mechanical Engineering, UIUC

The objective of this work is to better understand the impact of active transport through cellular membranes on the mass transport through live tissue. We have formulated a coarse-grained model of the tissue consisting of free interstitial water and ions, live cells and inert extracellular matrix. The volume of the cell phase depends on the fluxes of water and Na+, K+ and Cl- ions across the cell membrane which is regulated according to the model of Hernandez and Cristina, 1998. This model accommodates a number of cell membrane structures such as ion channels, aquaporins, ion pumps and co-transporters. Numerical parametric studies using hyposmotic and hyperosmotic shocks imposed at one boundary of the tissue reveal that the dynamics of cell regulation can trigger traveling waves through the tissue, a phenomenon which has not been reported before in non self-excitatory cell systems. In addition to providing a novel mechanistic model for tissues, our study provides better insight on the role of each cellular control mechanism in transport through model tissues.