Muscle extracellular matrix applies a transverse stress on fibers with axial strain

Lucas R. Smith, Lewis Gerace-Fowler, Richard L. Lieber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


It is widely assumed that skeletal muscle contraction is isovolumic. This assumption has been verified at the single fiber and at the myofibril level. Model development and mechanical analyses often exploit this assumption when investigating skeletal muscle and evaluating muscle mechanical properties. This communication describes a method whereby individual muscle fibers and bundles of fibers, which include their constituent extracellular matrix (ECM), were tested to define the change in volume with axial strain. The results demonstrate that fibers are isovolumic, but bundles decrease in volume with strain. The loss of volume implicates a transverse force being applied to the fibers by the ECM. The nature and importance of this transverse force warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1618-1620
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number8
StatePublished - May 17 2011


  • Extracellular matrix
  • Isovolumic
  • Muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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