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Multi-scale and multi-physics model of the uterine smooth muscle with mechanotransduction

Abstract : Preterm labor is an important public health problem. However, the efficiency of the uterine muscle during labor is complex and still poorly understood. This work is a first step towards a model of the uterine muscle, including its electrical and mechanical components, to reach a better understanding of the uterus synchronization. This model is proposed to investigate, by simulation, the possible role of mechanotransduction for the global synchronization of the uterus. The electrical diffusion indeed explains the local propagation of contractile activity, while the tissue stretching may play a role in the synchronization of distant parts of the uterine muscle. This work proposes a multi-physics (electrical, mechanical) and multi-scales (cell, tissue, whole uterus) model, which is applied to a realistic uterus 3D mesh. This model includes electrical components at different scales: generation of action potentials at the cell level, electrical diffusion at the tissue level. It then links these electrical events to the mechanical behavior, at the cellular level (via the intracellular calcium concentration), by simulating the force generated by each active cell. It thus computes an estimation of the intra uterine pressure (IUP) by integrating the forces generated by each active cell at the whole uterine level, as well as the stretching of the tissue (by using a viscoelastic law for the behavior of the tissue). It finally includes at the cellular level stretch activated channels (SACs) that permit to create a loop between the mechanical and the electrical behavior (mechanotransduction). The simulation of different activated regions of the uterus, which in this first ”proof of concept” case are electrically isolated, permits the activation of inactive regions through the stretching (induced by the electrically active regions) computed at the whole organ scale. This permits us to evidence the role of the mechanotransduction in the global synchronization of the uterus. The results also permit us to evidence the effect on IUP of this enhanced synchronization induced by the presence of SACs. This proposed simplified model will be further improved in order to permit a better understanding of the global uterine synchronization occurring during efficient labor contractions.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02431350
Contributor : Catherine Marque <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - 6:59:53 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 17, 2020 - 2:54:11 PM

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Maxime Yochum, Jeremy Laforet, Catherine Marque. Multi-scale and multi-physics model of the uterine smooth muscle with mechanotransduction. Computers in Biology and Medicine, Elsevier, 2018, 93, pp.17-30. ⟨10.1016/j.compbiomed.2017.12.001⟩. ⟨hal-02431350⟩

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