Cochlear outer hair cells are crucial for active hearing. These cells have a unique form of motility, named electromotility, whose main features are the cell’s length changes, active force production, and nonlinear capacitance. The molecular motor, prestin, that drives outer hair cell electromotility has recently been identified. We reveal relationships between the active energy produced by the outer hair cell molecular motors, motor effectiveness, and the capacitive properties of the cell membrane. We quantitatively characterize these relationships by introducing three characteristics: effective capacitance, zero-strain capacitance, and zero-resultant capacitance. We show that zero-strain capacitance is smaller than zero-resultant capacitance, and that the effective capacitance is between the two. It was also found that the differences between the introduced capacitive characteristics can be expressed in terms of the active energy produced by the cell’s molecular motors. The effectiveness of the cell and its molecular motors is introduced as the ratio of the motors’ active energy to the energy of the externally applied electric field. It is shown that the effectiveness is proportional to the difference between zero-strain and zero-resultant capacitance. We analyze the cell and motor’s effectiveness within a broad range of cellular parameters and estimate it to be within a range of 12%–30%.
Effectiveness, Active Energy Produced by Molecular Motors, and Nonlinear Capacitance of the Cochlear Outer Hair Cell
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Spector, A. A. (January 5, 2005). "Effectiveness, Active Energy Produced by Molecular Motors, and Nonlinear Capacitance of the Cochlear Outer Hair Cell." ASME. J Biomech Eng. June 2005; 127(3): 391–399. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1894233
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