Micro-biopsies: a less invasive technique for investigating human muscle fiber mechanics

Paige E. Rice, Sophia Nimphius, Chris Abbiss, Kevin A. Zwetsloot, Kiisa Nishikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this investigation was to demonstrate that muscle fiber mechanics can be assessed on micro-biopsies obtained from human medial gastrocnemii. Three micro-biopsy samples were collected from female dancers (n=15). Single fibers and fiber bundles were isolated and passively stretched from 2.4 to 3.0 µm at 0.015 and 0.04 µm s−1 (n=50 fibers total) and in five increments at 0.12 µm s−1 (n=42 fibers total). Muscle fibers were then activated isometrically at 2.4 µm (n=4 fibers total) and 3.0 µm (n=3 fibers total). Peak stress and steady-state stress were significantly greater (P<0.0001) after stretching at 0.04 µm s−1 than at 0.015 µm s−1. Furthermore, peak stresses and steady-state stresses increased non-linearly with fiber length (P<0.0001). We conclude that active and passive muscle fiber mechanics can be investigated using tissue from micro-biopsies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberjeb243643
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Dancers
  • Gastrocnemius
  • Myofibers
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Micro-biopsies: a less invasive technique for investigating human muscle fiber mechanics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this