Artificial Life and Robotics

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 173–179 | Cite as

Modeling of the pharyngeal muscle in Caenorhabditis elegans based on FitzHugh-Nagumo equations

  • Yuya Hattori
  • Michiyo Suzuki
  • Zu Soh
  • Yasuhiko Kobayashi
  • Toshio Tsuji
Original Article


The pharyngeal pumping motion to send food to the bowel is a rhythmic movement in Caenorhabditis elegans. This paper proposes a simulation-based approach to investigate the mechanisms of rhythm phenomena in the pharyngeal pumping motion. To conduct the simulations, first, we developed a pharyngeal muscle model including 29 cell models which simulate the activity of each cell as a membrane potential based on FitzHugh-Nagumo equations. Then, to compare the response of the model with that of C. elegans, we calculated the electropharyngeogram (EPG), which represents the electrophysiological responses of the pharyngeal cells, using the simulated membrane potentials. The results confirmed that our model could generate the EPG similar to that measured from C. elegans. We proposed a computer simulation of the pumping motion to investigate the mechanisms of rhythm phenomena in living organisms.


C. elegans Electropharyngeogram FitzHugh-Nagumo model Pharyngeal muscle Pumping motion 


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Copyright information

© ISAROB 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuya Hattori
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michiyo Suzuki
    • 2
  • Zu Soh
    • 3
  • Yasuhiko Kobayashi
    • 2
  • Toshio Tsuji
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of System CyberneticsGraduate School of Engineering, Hiroshima UniversityHiroshimaJapan
  2. 2.Microbeam Radiation Biology GroupQuantum Beam Science Directorate, Japan Atomic Energy AgencyGunmaJapan
  3. 3.Department of NeurophysiologyGraduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima UniversityHiroshimaJapan
  4. 4.Department of System CyberneticsInstitute of Engineering, Hiroshima UniversityHiroshimaJapan

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