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Med Biol Eng Comput. 2001 Jan;39(1):51-5.

Evaluation of the ability to make non-invasive estimation of muscle contractile properties on the basis of the muscle belly response.

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Institute of Anatomy, Medical Faculty, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


The histochemical and biomechanical relationships of limb muscles are examined in two groups of 15 men aged between 17 and 40 years. Seven muscles are chosen: biceps brachii, triceps brachii (TB), flexor digitorum superficialis, extensor digitorum, biceps femoris, tibialis anterior and gastrocnemius caput mediale (GCM). The aim of the preliminary study is to evaluate an alternative method based on a tensiomyographic (TMG) non-invasive measurement technique. The percentage of type I muscle fibres obtained with the histochemical method is 2.2 times higher for the slowest measured muscle (GCM) than for the fastest (TB). The contraction time of a muscle belly twitch response measured by TMG is 1.9 times higher for GCM than for TB. Statistical analysis of the data obtained by tensiomyographic and histochemical techniques shows a significant correlation between the contraction time of muscle response measured by TMG and the percentage of type I muscle fibres (correlation coefficient equals 0.93). Results of the study suggest using the TMG measuring technique as a basis for the estimation of the percentage of type I muscle fibres.

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