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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 473423, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/473423
Review Article

Comparative Biomechanics of Thick Filaments and Thin Filaments with Functional Consequences for Muscle Contraction

1Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
2Department of Biology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA

Received 29 January 2010; Accepted 26 March 2010

Academic Editor: Guy M. Benian

Copyright © 2010 Mark S. Miller et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The scaffold of striated muscle is predominantly comprised of myosin and actin polymers known as thick filaments and thin filaments, respectively. The roles these filaments play in muscle contraction are well known, but the extent to which variations in filament mechanical properties influence muscle function is not fully understood. Here we review information on the material properties of thick filaments, thin filaments, and their primary constituents; we also discuss ways in which mechanical properties of filaments impact muscle performance.