Mathematical models of mitochondrial bioenergetics provide powerful analytical tools to help interpret experimental data and facilitate experimental design for elucidating the supporting biochemical and physical processes. As a next step towards constructing a complete physiologically faithful mitochondrial bioenergetics model, a mathematical model was developed targeting the cardiac mitochondrial bioenergetic based upon previous efforts, and corroborated using both transient and steady state data. The model consists of several modified rate functions of mitochondrial bioenergetics, integrated calcium dynamics and a detailed description of the K(+)-cycle and its effect on mitochondrial bioenergetics and matrix volume regulation. Model simulations were used to fit 42 adjustable parameters to four independent experimental data sets consisting of 32 data curves. During the model development, a certain network topology had to be in place and some assumptions about uncertain or unobserved experimental factors and conditions were explicitly constrained in order to faithfully reproduce all the data sets. These realizations are discussed, and their necessity helps contribute to the collective understanding of the mitochondrial bioenergetics.
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