Navigation Links
Stanford Bio-X researchers use needle-thin probe to get first look at working muscle fiber

Using an unusual microscope with a tip the size of a needle, Stanford researchers are now able to look at tiny fibers of working muscles in live humans, with minimum discomfort to the patienta development patients are sure to welcome.

This microendoscopy technique for viewing sarcomeresmicroscopic lengths of muscle fiber about 3 millionths of a meter longhas advantages over the uncomfortable alternative, a muscle biopsy in which a portion of the muscle is removed for examination.

Sarcomeres are the basic contracting engines of muscle. They generally pull in a coordinated fashion, allowing us to walk down the sidewalk or throw a sinking curveball from the pitcher's mound. But out-of-sync sarcomeres are implicated in muscular dystrophy and other diseases of diminished muscular control. It is thought that disease may change the length of sarcomeres and cause havoc with muscle control because the force exerted by muscle is critically dependent on length.

To observe sarcomeres in action, researchers from Stanford's Bio-X program have devised a needle-thin probe, which is inserted through the skin into muscle. When a flash of finely tuned laser light is sent through the probe, the sarcomeres respond with light of their own to form a snapshot of muscle in action.

The researchers see the images in real time on a display screen. A change in the depth of focus of the rapidly scanning device can provide a three-dimensional movie.

"This is a method that does not require any operative procedures," said Mark Schnitzer, an assistant professor of biology and of applied physics. For the first time, "it allows us to view individual sarcomeres in live humans."

The breakthrough was reported online in the journal Nature on July 6.

The technology could prove useful in understanding how muscles are altered by spinal cord injuries or strokes as well as muscular diseases, according to another of the researchers, Scott Delp, a professor of bioengineering and of mechanical engineering and, by courtesy, of orthopedic surgery.

Other areas of interest include biomechanics, orthopedic reconstructions, prosthetic devices and tendon transfers, in which tension adjustments are a crucial element for patients relearning how to walk or grasp. "If you measure the length of the sarcomeres during surgery, then you can adjust them to work at their optimal length, giving maximum muscle strength," Delp said.


Contact: Dan Stober
Stanford University

Related medicine news :

1. Stanford researchers find molecule that kills kidney cancer cells
2. Cancer cells revert to normal at specific signal threshold, Stanford researchers find
3. The Sir Allen Stanford Pediatric Fellowship Program Provides Close To CHF 1 Million to Support Kinderspital Zurich
4. Antibiotics can prevent wound complications of childbirth, Stanford/Packard study finds
5. GlaxoSmithKline Announces $500,000 in Fellowships at Stanford Graduate School of Business
6. Stanford Professor Barry M. Trost Visits WuXi PharmaTech and Gives Two Seminars
7. Vital Images Showcases the ViTAL Enterprise Solution at Stanford Universitys 6th Annual Face-Off
8. Brooks Brothers CEO at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital(R) To Announce Partnership With Stanford St. Jude Championship
9. Stanford researchers synthesize compound to flush HIV out of hiding
10. High blood pressure still sneaking past doctors, Stanford study shows
11. Inaugural Stanford International Pro-Am Winner A Remarkable Story in Determination And the Powerful Impact of St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... Lake Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June ... ... direction with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These ... tolerable intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible ... often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human ... but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned ... the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at ... fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits ... terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps ... slow progress toward their goal. , Research from reveals that ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World ... with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center ... with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 The Academy of ... recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to ... entities that make formulary and coverage decisions, a move ... of new medicines. The recommendations address restrictions ... appear on the drug label, a prohibition that hinders ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... and SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, ... -based mobile pulmonary function testing company, is now able to perform ... developed by ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. ... in hospital-based labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL ... can get any needed testing done in the comfort of her ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- According to a new market research ... Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, ... Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts to ... for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. This ... 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing at ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: