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Optimised Kinetic Simulation of Muscles

Optimised Kinetic Simulation of Muscles

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An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards (International Programme) Competition by Alexander Karapetian. Originally submitted for Individual Project at Imperial College London, with lecturer Wayne Luk in the category of Computer Sciences & Information Technology
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards (International Programme) Competition by Alexander Karapetian. Originally submitted for Individual Project at Imperial College London, with lecturer Wayne Luk in the category of Computer Sciences & Information Technology

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/24/2014

 
Optimised Kinetic Simulation Of Muscles
 
Abstract
Muscle contraction is an important part of locomotion and many other essentialfunctions. The Sliding Filament Model describes active shortening of musclesas the result of myosin crossbridges causing the myosin filaments to slide rela-tive to actin filaments. In this project, we optimise and accelerate a computersimulation of a neighbourhood of crossbridges which are treated as a dependentpopulation. We subsequently obtain novel results describing the effects of morecompliant environments on the life of a population of crossbridges. Since thefilaments stretch when a force is applied, a movement appears to be producedacross them. Using existing ideas about how each crossbridge reacts to relativemovement of its two ends and current measurements of the compliance of thefilaments and attached crossbridges, we show that the dynamics of a populationof crossbridges along the myosin filament are affected by interactions with itsneighbours and present evidence to suggest that a higher compliance leads to ashorter crossbridge lifespan. The stochastic model of this behaviour is time con-suming when executed on a large scale. We present an optimised version of thesimulation in a compiled language and demonstrate performance gains of ap-proximately 3000 times the original run time using acceleration and parallelism.From many long term runs of this simulation with our performance gains, weare able to present never before seen results to benefit our understanding of muscle contraction.
 
This work is dedicated to Sir Andrew F. Huxley22 November 1917 – 30 May 2012

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