European Biophysics Journal

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 87–99 | Cite as

Optical diffraction by well-ordered muscle fibres

  • R. A. Thornhill
  • N. Thomas
  • N. Berovic
Article

Abstract

We have studied the diffraction of a focussed laser beam by single fibres of glycerinated rabbit psoas muscle as a function of the angle of incidence. Diffraction efficiencies as high as 34% were observed at the firs-order Bragg angle, indicative of well-ordered striated fibres with a strong periodic modulation of the refractive index. A theory is presented to account for our observations based upon the coupled-wave model developed by Kogelnik (1967) and Magnusson and Gaylord (1977) for the description of thick phase gratings in holography. We have solved the coupled-wave equations on a computer using a realistic index modulation taken from the measurements of Huxley and Hanson (1957). Comparison of theory with experiment shows that coupled-wave effects are indeed present in well-ordered muscle fibres, and the observed diffraction efficiency is in quite good agreement with what would be expected theoretically. Most importantly, the computer model allows us to calculate the diffraction efficiency for curved striations, which are observed for real muscle fibres under a microscope. The sensitivity of the diffraction efficiency to curvature of the striations may have implications for the interpretation of other optical experiments on muscle. We also consider the effects on our measurements of the focussing lens and refraction by the cylindrical fibre.

Key words

Muscle Diffraction Striations Refractive index 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baskin RJ, Lieber RL, Oba T, Yeh Y (1981) Intensity of light diffraction from striated muscle as a function of incident angle. Biophys J 36:759–773Google Scholar
  2. Berovic N, Thomas N, Thornhill RA, Vaughan JM (1989) Observation of Brillouin scattering from single muscle fibres. Eur Biophys J 17:69–74Google Scholar
  3. Blinks JR (1965) Influence of osmotic strength on cross-section and volume of isolated single muscle fibres. J Physiol 177:42–57Google Scholar
  4. Bowman W (1840) On the minute structure and movements of voluntary muscle. Phil Trans R Soc 457–501Google Scholar
  5. Brenner B (1983) Technique for stabilizing the striation pattern in maximally calcium-activated skinned rabbit psoas fibres. Biophys J 41:99–102Google Scholar
  6. Brenner B (1985) Sarcomeric domain organization within single skinned rabbit psoas fibres and its effect on laser light diffraction patterns. Biophys J 48:967–982Google Scholar
  7. Brenner B, Yu LC (1985) Equatorial X-ray diffraction in single skinned rabbit psoas fibres. Biophys J 48:829–834Google Scholar
  8. Buchthal F, Knappeis GG (1940) Diffraction spectra and minute structure of the cross-striated muscle fibre. Skand Arch 83: 283–307Google Scholar
  9. Chen JS, Baskin RJ Burton K, Shen S, Yeh Y (1989) Polarization states of light. Biophys J 56:595–605Google Scholar
  10. Cleworth D, Edman KAP (1969) Laser diffraction studies on single skeletal muscle fibers. Science 163:296–298Google Scholar
  11. Cowley JM (1975) Diffraction physics. North-Holland, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  12. Flitney FW (1975) Light scattering associated with tension changes in the short-range elastic component of resting frog muscle. J Physiol 244:1–14Google Scholar
  13. Fujime S, Yoshino S (1978) Optical diffraction study of muscle fibers 1. Biophys Chem 8:305–315Google Scholar
  14. Gilliar WG, Bickel WS, Bailey WF (1984) Light diffraction studies of single muscle fibres as a function of fibre rotation. Biophys J 45:1159–1165Google Scholar
  15. Hariharan P (1984) Optical holography. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  16. Haskell RC, Carlson FD, Blank PS (1989) Form birefringence of muscle. Biophys 156:401–413Google Scholar
  17. Hill DK (1953 a) The optical properties of resting striated muscle. J Physiol 119:489–500Google Scholar
  18. Hill DK (1953b) The effect of stimulation on the diffraction of light by striated muscle. J Physiol 119:501–512Google Scholar
  19. Huxley AF (1990) A theoretical treatment of diffraction of light by a striated muscle fibre. Proc R Soc Lond B 241:65–71Google Scholar
  20. Huxley AF, Niedergerke R (1958) Measurement of the striations of isolated muscle fibres with the interference microscope. J Physiol 144:403–425Google Scholar
  21. Huxley HE, Hanson J (1957) Quantitative studies on the structure of cross-striated myofibrils. Biochim Biophys Acta 23:229–249Google Scholar
  22. Kawai M, Kuntz ID (1973) Optical diffraction studies of muscle fibers. Biophys J 13:857–875Google Scholar
  23. Kogelnik H (1967) Coupled wave theory for thick hologram gratings. Bell System Tech J 48:2909–2947Google Scholar
  24. Leung AF, Cheung MK (1988) Decrease in light diffraction intensity of contracting muscle fibres. Eur Biophys J 15:359–368Google Scholar
  25. Magnusson R, Gaylord TK (1977) Analysis of multiwave diffraction of thick gratings. J Opt Soc Am 67:1165–1170Google Scholar
  26. Marikhin VA, Myasnikova LP (1970) Diffraction patterns of muscle fibres (in Russian). Tsitologiya 12:1231–1236Google Scholar
  27. Peckham M, Irving M (1989) Myosin cross-bridge orientation in demembranated muscle fibres studied by birefringence and X-ray diffraction measurements. J Mol Biol 210:113–126Google Scholar
  28. Ranvier L (1874) Du spectre produit par les muscles stríes. Arch Physiol 6:774–780Google Scholar
  29. Rüdel R, Zite-Ferenczy F (1979) Interpretation of light diffraction by cross-striated muscle as Bragg reflexion of light by the lattice of contractile proteins. J Physiol 290:317–330Google Scholar
  30. Rüde R, Zite-Ferenczy F (1980) Efficiency of light diffraction by cross-striated muscle fibers under stretch and during isometric contraction. Biophys J 30:507–516Google Scholar
  31. Sandow A (1936) Diffraction patterns of the frog sartorius and sarcomere behaviour under stretch. J Cell Comp Physiol :37–54Google Scholar
  32. Wang K, Wright J (1988) Architecture of the sarcomere matrix of skeletal muscle. J Cell Biol 107:2199–2212Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. A. Thornhill
    • 1
  • N. Thomas
    • 2
  • N. Berovic
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesBirmingham UniversityBirminghamUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Biophysics Group, School of Physics and Space ResearchBirmingham UniversityBirminghamUnited Kingdom

Personalised recommendations