Extending a Hodgkin-Huxley Model for Larval Drosophila Muscle Excitability via Particle Swarm Fitting

Paul Piho, Filip Margetiny, Ezio Bartocci, Richard Ribchester, Jane Hillston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We present a model of excitability in larval Drosophila muscles. Our model was initially based on modified Hodgkin-Huxley equations, adapted to represent variable, regenerative depolarisations (action potentials) we have occasionally observed in intracellular recordings and that can be triggered by excitatory junction potentials at neuromuscular synapses. We modified several kinetic equations describing voltage sensitive Ca2+ and K+ ionic currents, previously used to predict excitability in muscle cells of the mammalian cardiac atrioventricular node. The resulting nonlinear differential equations had multiple unknown parameters. Thus, to fit the model to experimental observations of variable excitability, we developed a new implementation of particle swarm optimisation. This GPU-based implementation allows us to adopt an ensemble model approach in which each experimental observation is used to find a plausible parameterisation, resulting in a set of models accounting for cell-to-cell variability of muscle excitability in Drosophila larvae,
and with potential applications to population-based modeling of other excitable cell types
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputational Methods in Systems Biology
Subtitle of host publicationCMSB 2019
EditorsLuca Bortolussi, Guido Sanguinetti
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-31304-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-31303-6
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Sep 2019
Event17th International Conference on Computational Methods in Systems Biology - Trieste, Italy
Duration: 18 Sep 201920 Sep 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743


Conference17th International Conference on Computational Methods in Systems Biology
Abbreviated titleCMSB 2019
Internet address


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