How big is your fibre?

No this isn’t a macho statement in fact its very scientific statement. As part of the fibre contraction process you have to make sure that the sarcomere length is approximately 2.4 micrometer long. This is because you get the maximal functional overlap between the myosin heads of the thick filament and the actin filament of […]

No this isn’t a macho statement in fact its very scientific statement. As part of the fibre contraction process you have to make sure that the sarcomere length is approximately 2.4 micrometer long. This is because you get the maximal functional overlap between the myosin heads of the thick filament and the actin filament of the thin filament. This allows you to measure consistently the force produced during muscle contraction.

sarcomereDiagramatic representation of a sarcomere showing the thick and thin filaments as labeled.

To measure the sarcomere length a program can be used. This allows you to measure the average size of each sarcomere. To do this I have to take a digital image of the muscle fibre mounted under light microscope with a camera attached.

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A section of a muscle fibre as seen under the light microscope sarcomeres are clearly seen. Asarcomere spans the distance between every dark line in the picture.

With the picture I can then select an area with the programme and it will calculate the average sarcomere length. This will allow me to standardise my results for sarcomere length. – CT

 

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