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.
- Extracellular matrix
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering