bme403_muslec_1_2006 - Skeletal Muscle Skeletal muscle...

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Skeletal Muscle Skeletal muscle consists of muscle fibers which are made up of sarcomere units connected in series. Each sarcomere is made up of many protein units arranged in parallel called actin (thin filaments) and myosin (thick filaments). Actin are arranged like parallel rope strands and myosin has a neck and head structure which rotates as shown in Figure M.1 and more schematically below. The unit structure of muscle is called a sarcomere. Each muscle fiber is made up of millions of such units in series. The interaction of myosin and actin is similar to how an outrigger canoe is propelled. Think of the myosin heads as canoe paddles arranged on both sides of a canoe As shown in Figure M.2. Figure M.1 Actin and myosin units.
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Figure M.2 Outrigger canoe with “myosin” paddlers Actin can be thought of as the water around the canoe. Half of the paddles are used on one side and the rest on the other side of the canoe. For each stroke the paddle blade which is shaped like a spoon is extended forward at an angle close to 45 degrees and plunged into the water. During the power stroke the paddle is pulled towards the body until the paddle is at the maximum rearward position. The paddle is then lifted out of the
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bme403_muslec_1_2006 - Skeletal Muscle Skeletal muscle...

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