Chalmers Conferences, 9th European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology

Modeling a Plant Cell Wall: interactions between mechanics and biochemistry
Brian Seguin, Mariya Ptashnyk

Last modified: 2014-06-09


A main component of a plant cell is its cell wall, which has a complex microscopic structure composed mainly of oriented cellulose microfibrils, pectins, hemicelluloses, structural proteins, and water.  The orientation and strength of the microfibrils strongly influence the mechanical properties of the wall, and it has been proposed that calcium-pectin cross-linking chemistry is one of the main regulators of cell wall elasticity.

I will present a three-dimensional continuum model for a cell wall that takes into account the calcium-pectin cross-linking chemistry and microfibril microstructure.  To obtain the effective macroscopic properties of the wall, homogenization techniques will be used.  I will conclude my talk with numerical results showing how the elastic properties of the cell wall respond to the changes in the distribution of calcium-pectin cross-links.