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The Biophysical Journal





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Originally published at

Under an Elsevier user license

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February 2015


We introduce a general network thermodynamic method for compartmental analysis which uses a compartmental model of sodium flows through frog skin as an illustrative example (Huf and Howell, 1974a). We use network thermodynamics (Mikulecky et al., 1977b) to formulate the problem, and a circuit simulation program (ASTEC 2, SPICE2, or PCAP) for computation. In this way, the compartment concentrations and net fluxes between compartments are readily obtained for a set of experimental conditions involving a square-wave pulse of labeled sodium at the outer surface of the skin. Qualitative features of the influx at the outer surface correlate very well with those observed for the short circuit current under another similar set of conditions by Morel and LeBlanc (1975). In related work, the compartmental model is used as a basis for simulation of the short circuit current and sodium flows simultaneously using a two-port network (Mikulecky et al., 1977a, and Mikulecky et al., A network thermodynamic model for short circuit current transients in frog skin. Manuscript in preparation; Gary-Bobo et al., 1978). The network approach lends itself to computation of classic compartmental problems in a simple manner using circuit simulation programs (Chua and [in, 1975), and it further extends the compartmental models to more complicated situations involving coupled flows and nonlinearities such as concentration dependencies, chemical reaction kinetics, etc.


From The Biophysical Journal, Mikulecky, D.C., Huf, E.G., Thomas, S.R., A Network Thermodynamic Approach to Compartmental Analysis: Na+ Transients in Frog Skin, Vol. 25, Page 87. Copyright © 1979 The Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. Reprinted with permission.

Is Part Of

VCU Physiology and Biophysics Publications