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Biophys J. Oct 1998; 75(4): 1679–1688.
PMCID: PMC1299840

Analysis of synaptic transmission in the neuromuscular junction using a continuum finite element model.


There is a steadily growing body of experimental data describing the diffusion of acetylcholine in the neuromuscular junction and the subsequent miniature endplate currents produced at the postsynaptic membrane. To gain further insights into the structural features governing synaptic transmission, we have performed calculations using a simplified finite element model of the neuromuscular junction. The diffusing acetylcholine molecules are modeled as a continuum, whose spatial and temporal distribution is governed by the force-free diffusion equation. The finite element method was adopted because of its flexibility in modeling irregular geometries and complex boundary conditions. The resulting simulations are shown to be in accord with experiment and other simulations.

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Selected References

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