Mena Michael: Mechanics of muscles on a cellular level

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The elasticity and flexibility of a human muscle and its contractile properties depend on the presence of reactive oxygen species as well as calcium ions. Mena Michael investigates the calcium responsiveness of muscles both during active contraction and passive stretching. He systematically assessed muscle mechanics using the MyoRobot platform, an automated setup developed at his Institute. Recently, he published his results in Redox Balance Differentially Affects Biomechanics in Permeabilized Single Muscle Fibres—Active and Passive Force Assessments with the Myorobot.

Mena works at the Institute of Medical Biotechnology, his supervisor is Oliver Friedrich. The original publication can be found in Cells.

Close-up of the MyoRobot, where single muscle fibers are clamped for stretching measurements. The mirror below allows optical access.
The optical path to the camera of the MyoRobot