muscle force - Courtney Mulroy A&P Lab Introduction...

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Courtney Mulroy March 11, 2008 Introduction: Skeletal muscles are the prime movers of they body, that is they bear the chief responsibility for producing movement through muscle contractions. They allow for locomotion and manipulation and enable us to respond quickly to our environment. Skeletal muscle is made up mostly of muscle fibers, but also of blood vessels, nerve fibers, and connective tissue. The tissues include skeletal muscle tissue, cardiac muscle tissue, as well as smooth muscle tissue. Skeletal muscle tissue is on attaches to the skeleton, is striated, and is the only type of voluntary muscle. Cardiac muscle tissue makes up the walls of the heart, it is also striated but it is not voluntary as you have no control over your heart rate. Smooth muscle tissue makes up the walls of many organs such as the stomach and its role is to force bodily fluids and other materials though body channels. Muscle tissues enable muscles to be responsive and have such characteristics as contractility, extensibility, and elasticity. Skeletal muscle is what we will be focusing on. Each muscle fiber contains thousands of myofibrils which contain the contractile elements of skeletal muscle cells. The most important elements in the myofibrils are the thick filament, myosin, and the thin filaments, actin. Myosin meets with actin on the binding sites (also called a cross- bridge attachment) allowing for sliding movement. Activation of myosin’s cross-bridges, which are the force-generating sites in muscles, instigate muscle cells containing
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muscle force - Courtney Mulroy A&P Lab Introduction...

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