Skip to main content
Log in

Evaluation of the ability to make non-invasive estimation of muscle contractile properties on the basis of the muscle belly response

  • Published:
Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing Aims and scope Submit manuscript


The histochemical and biomechanical relationships of limb muscles are examined in two groups of 15 men aged between 17 and 40 years. Seven muscles are chosen: biceps brachii, triceps brachii (TB), flexor digitorum superficialis, extensor digitorum, biceps femoris, tibialis anterior and gastrocnemius caput mediale (GCM). The aim of the preliminary study is to evaluate an alternative method based on a tensiomyographic (TMG) non-invasive measurement technique. The percentage of type I muscle fibres obtained with the histochemical method is 2.2 times higher for the slowest measured muscle (GCM) than for the fastest (TB). The contraction time of a muscle belly twitch response measured by TMG is 1.9 times higher for GCM than for TB. Statistical analysis of the data obtained by tensiomyographic and histochemical techniques shows a significant correlation between the contraction time of muscle response measured by TMG and the percentage of type I muscle fibres (correlation coefficient equals 0.93). Results of the study suggest using the TMG measuring technique as a basis for the estimation of the percentage of type I muscle fibres.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Buchthal, F., andSchmalbruch, H. (1970): ‘Contraction times and fibre types in intact human muscle’,Acta Physiol. Scand.,79, pp. 435–452

    Google Scholar 

  • Delagi, E. F., Perotto, A., Iazzetti, J., andMorrison, D. (1975): ‘Anatomic guide for the electromyographer: the limbs’ (Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, USA)

    Google Scholar 

  • Edström, L., andKugelberg, B. (1968): ‘Histochemical composition, distribution of fibres and fatigability of single motor units’,J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiat.,31, pp. 424–433

    Google Scholar 

  • Edgerton, V. H., Smith, J. L., andSimpson, D. R. (1975): ‘Muscle fibre type populations of human leg muscles’,Histochem. J.,7, pp. 259–266

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Guth, L., andSamaha, F. J. (1970): ‘Procedure for the histochemical demonstration of actomyosine ATPase (research note)’,Exp. Neurol.,28, pp. 365–367

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gydikov, A., Dimitrov, G., Kosarov, D., andDimitrova, N. (1976): ‘Functional differentiation of motor units in human opponens pollicis muscle’,Exper. Neurol.,50, pp. 36–47

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Knaflitz, M., Merletti, R., andDeLuca, C. J. (1990): ‘Inference of motor unit recruitment order in voluntary and electrically elicited contractions’,J. Appl. Physiol.,68, (4), pp. 1657–1667

    Google Scholar 

  • Lexell, J., Henriksson-Larsen, K., andSjostrom, M. (1983): ‘Distribution of different fibre types in human muscles’,Acta Physiol. Scand., Part 2,117, pp. 115–122

    Google Scholar 

  • Padykula, H. A., andHerman, E. (1955): ‘The specificity of the histochemical method for adenosine triphosphatase’,J. Histochem. Cytochem.,3, pp. 170–183

    Google Scholar 

  • Parker, P. A., Körner, I., andKadefors, R. (1984): ‘Estimation of muscle force from intramuscular total pressure’,Med. Biol. Eng. Comput.,22, pp. 453–457

    Google Scholar 

  • Pernuš, F., Eržen, I., andBjelogrlič, Z. (1986): ‘A computer-aided method for muscle fibre type quantification’,Acta Stereol,5, pp. 49–54

    Google Scholar 

  • Polgar, J., Johnson, M. A., Weigthman, D., andAppleton, D. (1973): ‘Data on the distribution of fibre types in thirty-six human muscles’,J. Neurol. Sci.,19, pp. 307–318

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sica, R. E. P., andMcComas, A. J. (1971): ‘Fast and slow twitch units in a human muscle’,J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiat.,34, pp. 113–120

    Google Scholar 

  • Stein, R. B., French, A. S., Mannard, A., andYemm, R. (1972): ‘New methods for analysing motor function in man and animals’,Brain Res.,40, pp. 187–192

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Valenčič, V., andKnez, N. (1997): ‘Measuring of skeletal muscles dynamic properties’,Artific. Org.,21, pp. 240–242

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to R. Dahmane.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Dahmane, R., Valenčič, V., Knez, N. et al. Evaluation of the ability to make non-invasive estimation of muscle contractile properties on the basis of the muscle belly response. Med. Biol. Eng. Comput. 39, 51–55 (2001).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: