X-Ray Diffraction from Live Muscle Fibres

  • A. SvenssonEmail author
  • J. Bordas
  • F.B. de la Cuesta
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 776)


The previous chapter shows how small-angle X-ray Diffraction can be used to study the organization of collagen fibres in tissue, proposing this technique as a diagnosis tool. In this chapter, synchrotron small-angle X-ray diffraction (SAXD) by using high-angle and temporal resolution is presented as an essential tool in structural functional studies of skeletal muscle tissues. SAXD studies of muscle fibres involve the combination of mechanical and diffraction methods and provide insights into the molecular mechanisms responsible for the generation of force and motion in active muscle. These studies are made possible because of the highly ordered arrangement of the contractile proteins, myosin and actin, in the sarcomere, the smallest functional repeating unit of the muscle cell. The possibility to collect diffraction diagrams with high angular and temporal resolutions at modern third-generation synchrotron radiation sources together with new data processing algorithms together and two-dimensional photon counting detectors allow structural and functional studies of live muscle tissues. The review covers the basics of X-ray small-angle diffraction, instrumentation and mathematical methods used in data analysis. A general description of each of these points has been presented in Chap.1 and 2. It provides new results on the axial disposition of the myosin heads and their interpretation from analysing the interference fringes that carve the diffraction orders into clusters of peaks.


Sarcomere Length Myosin Head Interference Peak Axial Disposition Structure Amplitude 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CELLSBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.LLSBarcelona
  3. 3.Spain and Dept London Centre of NanotechnologyUniversity CollegeLondonUK

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