Ovoid geometry of the Pacinian corpuscle is not the determining factor for mechanical excitation

  • Güçlü B
  • Schepis E
  • Yelke S
 et al. 
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Static displacements in Pacinian corpuscles (PCs) were measured using video microscopy. Mechanical stimuli of 10–40 mm steps were applied to the PC capsule surfaces using cylindrical contactors with different diameters. Displacements parallel to the stimulation axis were measured at various locations in the focal plane of the optical setup. In contrast to previous data in the literature, the displacements within the corpuscle were found to be linearly related to the indentation amplitude. Displacements decreased as a function of lamella depth, with a more negative slope close to the surface and less negative slope at deeper locations. The experimental data were compared to the predictions of a previous mechanical model, and to the results of two new models: (1) elastic semi-infinite continuum model; (2) ovoid isotropic finite-element model. Although the previous model did not specify displacement boundary conditions, it predicted the current experimental results well. On the other hand, the experimental displacements were found to be smaller than those predicted by the semi-infinite continuum and finite-element models. However, both semi-infinite continuum and finite-element models yielded close results, which show that the three-dimensional ovoid geometry of the corpuscle is not the primary factor for determining the displacements in physiological conditions. Furthermore, simulations with the finite-element model using a wide range of material properties yielded similar results. This supports the hypothesis that a homogeneous isotropic model for the PC cannot predict experimental results. The modeling analyses suggest that the experimental results are largely affected by the displacement of the incompressible interlamellar fluid and the layered structure of the corpuscle.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cat mesentery
  • Displacement
  • Finite-element method
  • Lamellae
  • Mechanoreceptor
  • Rigid cylindrical punch

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