Research & Techniques

Current Research projects in the Muscle Physiology and Biophysics Laboratory cover Basic and Applied Muscle Research.

Basic Research

  • The effects of length and mechanical strain on the force produced by skeletal muscles/molecules and ATP kinetics.
  • The contribution of different muscle proteins/molecules (myosin, actin, titin) to contraction and force generation.
  • The mechanisms of the load-dependent myosin power stroke.
  • The regulatory role of protein arginylation on muscle contractility and disease.

​Applied Research

  • The effects of mechanical ventilation on contractile properties of the diaphragm.
  • The effects of genetic mutations and cardiomyopathy on the contractile properties of the heart.
  • The effects of rheumatoid arthritis on muscle contractility.

​Instrumentation

  • Development of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) techniques for biological research.
  • Development of micro/nano instrumentation for studies on molecular motors.
     

Research Techniques: The Muscle Physiology and Biophysics Laboratory uses an array of experimental preparations to understand how muscles work at different levels of analysis:

  • Muscle cells are isolated from different species and tested in an experimental chamber with controlled media (solutions, pH, temperature), while force, sarcomere length and ionic activity can be measured.
  • Muscle myofibrils are experimented in a newly designed Atomic Force Microscope with high time and spatial resolution and a set of different cameras for sarcomere length measurements using phase-contrast images or fluorescence techniques.
  • Muscle sarcomeres and half-sarcomeres are the smallest functional units of muscles that maintain the three-dimensional lattice structure. They are investigated with a pioneer system developed in the laboratory in which pre-calibrated micro-needles are used for force measurements.