Elucidation of extracellular matrix mechanics from muscle fibers and fiber bundles

Gretchen A. Meyer, Richard L. Lieber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


The importance of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in muscle is widely recognized, since ECM plays a central role in proper muscle development (Buck and Horwitz, 1987), tissue structural support (Purslow, 2002), and transmission of mechanical signals between fibers and tendon (Huijing, 1999). Since substrate biomechanical properties have been shown to be critical in the biology of tissue development and remodeling (Engler et al., 2006; Gilbert et al., 2010), it is likely that mechanics are critical for ECM to perform its function. Unfortunately, there are almost no data available regarding skeletal muscle ECM viscoelastic properties. This is primarily due to the impossibility of isolating and testing muscle ECM. Therefore, this note presents a new method to quantify viscoelastic ECM modulus by combining tests of single muscle fibers and fiber bundles. Our results demonstrate that ECM is a highly nonlinearly elastic material, while muscle fibers are linearly elastic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-773
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 24 2011


  • Connective tissue
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Mechanical properties
  • Muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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