The main function of striated muscles is to generate force by shortening their length. This occurs when their subcellular myofibrils contract. A myofibril (diameter ~1 µm) contains contractile subunits arranged in series, called sarcomeres. A sarcomere contains mainly thin (e.g., actin, troponin, tropomyosin) and thick (e.g., myosin, myosin light chains) filaments that slide along each other when the muscle contracts or relaxes.
The project focuses on the preparation of single myofibrils or thin myofibrillar bundles isolated from chemically skinned myocardial tissues (e.g., pig, human), in order to use the least tissue possible (e.g., resulting from needle biopsies). The contractile function of myofibrils can be further investigated using a micromechanical setup based on nN-sensitive force probe.
A-B: Producing a very thin bundle of myofibrils from ~1 mm² myocardial tissue (pig) using Precellys24.
C: Thin bundles of left ventricular myofibrils (pig) with an averaged diameter of ≤3 µm are good candidates for micromechanical investigations of the myofibrillar contractile function.