Contractions of a Muscle

Bio­me­chan­ic researchers were study­ing the con­trac­tions of a rat Tib­ialis Ante­ri­or mus­cle.  It was desir­able to quick­ly and accu­rate­ly quan­ti­fy the over­all move­ments, as well as local­ized variations.


Because the exper­i­ments involved live tis­sues, con­ven­tion­al gauges were dif­fi­cult to apply and tend­ed to inter­fere with the motion under study.  It was impor­tant to cap­ture data quick­ly, and for as many points as pos­si­ble.  Mark­er track­ing had been used, but pro­vid­ed only gross aver­ages.  It was also time-con­sum­ing and tedious for the researchers to process this type of  information.


The Vic-3D sys­tem was used to rapid­ly cap­ture con­trac­tion data over the entire mus­cle sur­face.  Due to the system’s speed and sim­plic­i­ty, it was pos­si­ble to make numer­ous mea­sure­ments at pre­cise­ly timed inter­vals.  There was no inter­ac­tion with the spec­i­men, and no need to guess which areas would be of great­est interest.

The result­ing mea­sure­ments pro­vid­ed high spa­tial res­o­lu­tion and made it pos­si­ble to iden­ti­fy numer­ous areas where “bunch­ing” of the mus­cle tis­sue caused sig­nif­i­cant vari­a­tions in mus­cle con­trac­tion.  These areas had not been pre­vi­ous­ly iden­ti­fied with con­ven­tion­al meth­ods.  Final­ly, all cal­cu­la­tions were done auto­mat­i­cal­ly.  This saved con­sid­er­able time and avoid­ed the pos­si­bil­i­ty of human error in the data processing.