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Title: A new paradigm for muscle contraction
Authors: Herzog, Walter
Powers, Krysta
Johnston, Kaleena
Duvall, Mike
Keywords: titin;actin;myosin;crossbridge theory;muscle contraction;eccentric;muscle stretching;force enhancement
Issue Date: 10-Jun-2015
Publisher: Frontiers in Physiology
Citation: Herzog, W., Powers, K., Johnston, K., & Duvall, M. (2015). A new paradigm for muscle contraction. Frontiers in physiology, 6.
Abstract: Muscle contraction has fascinated lay people and scientists for centuries. However, a good understanding of how muscle contraction occurs seemed only possible once microscopy techniques had evolved to a level where basic structural features, such as the regular cross striation patterns of fibers, could be observed in the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, a stimulated muscle was simply considered a new elastic body (Gasser and Hill,1924). Shortening and work production took place with a fixed amount of energy tha twas stored in this body and evolved elastically through stimulation. However, this notion was proven false when Wallace Fenn demonstrated that muscle produced an increasing amount of total energy when increasing its mechanical work output; an observation that was in contradiction with Hill’s elastic body theory (Fenn, 1923,1924). Specifically, Fenn, who worked in the laboratory of Hill and measured heat and work production in frog muscles, found that a muscle allowed to shorten liberated more energy than a muscle held isometrically or a muscle that was stretched. This has become known as the Fenn effect in muscle physiology.
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