Nerve strain correlates with structural changes quantified by fourier analysis

James M. Love, Ting Hsien Chuang, Richard L. Lieber, Sameer B. Shah*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Nerve deformation affects physiological function. Bands of Fontana are an optical manifestation of axonal undulations and may provide a structural indicator of nerve strain. Methods: We developed an automated Fourier-based image processing method to quantify the periodicity of bands of Fontana both in bright field images and in axonal undulations in immunolabeled longitudinal sections. Results: We found a strong linear relationship between applied strain and the frequency of bands of Fontana in rat sciatic nerves (-0.0056 μm-{dot operator}%-, r2=0.829; P<0.05). This relationship agreed with the observed trend between strain and axonal waviness, calculated from longitudinal sections of sciatic nerves immunolabeled against myelin basic protein. Conclusions: This accurate and objective approach has potential to increase our understanding of structure-function relationships in the nervous system and to guide preservation and enhancement of neural function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-435
Number of pages3
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013


  • Biomechanics
  • Histology
  • Image processing
  • Peripheral nerve
  • Strain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)

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