Strips of urinary bladder smooth muscle were subjected to a series of quick release measurements. Each measurement consisted of several releases and resets to the original length, made during one contraction. The complete length-force characteristic of series elasticity was quantified by estimating H, the amplitude of quick release necessary to reduce the active force to exactly zero, and Db, a measure for the deviation of the characteristic from a straight line. By measuring a series of contractions at increasing stretched strip lengths, the length dependence of these parameters was studied. It was found that H depends linearly on stretched strip length. On average H/length amounted to 0.04. Db decreased when strips were stretched, i.e. a straight line was more closely approximated. Both parameter dependencies support the concept of two separate elastic mechanisms, a linear true passive elasticity in series with a non-linear elasticity in the cross-bridges. For the latter, H amounts to 3.8% of the initial strip length.

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Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Mastrigt, R. (1988). The length dependence of the series elasticity of pig bladder smooth muscle. Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility, 9(6), 525–532. doi:10.1007/BF01738757