The effect of tendon compliance on in vitro/in vivo estimations of sarcomere length

The Journal of experimental biology

PubMedID: 9318178

James R, Young I, Altringham J. The effect of tendon compliance on in vitro/in vivo estimations of sarcomere length. J Exp Biol. 1997;198(Pt 2):503-6.
The errors likely to result from using excised rigor muscles to determine in vivo sarcomere length ranges were calculated for mouse extensor digitorum longus muscle (EDL). This muscle was chosen because its very long tendon makes it particularly susceptible to errors arising from tendon compliance. By placing dissected limbs into different locomotory stances, and allowing them to go into rigor, the range of sarcomere lengths over which muscles operate in vivo can be determined, but it is subject to errors due to tendon compliance. A tendon compliance of 0.24 GPa and a muscle rigor stress of 35 kPa were determined, and these were used to correct the estimates of in vivo sarcomere length, under worst case conditions. The error introduced was very small: a reduction in sarcomere length of less than 0.5 %.