From studying how different athletes perform or recover to quantifying an animal model’s resistance to metabolic fatigue, the field of exercise and metabolic physiology encompasses a broad range of study. Aurora Scientific has solutions to address these different areas of inquiry whether in murine or other animal models, or even with human samples. Powerful software married with precise instruments for studying whole animal, whole muscle and single fiber samples make Aurora Scientific the leader in providing Exercise Physiologists with the means to understand muscle performance at the highest level.
Understanding Muscle Performance, Injury and Recovery
human performance, fatigue, injury rehabilitation, training & exercise
1200A – Easy To Use System Is an Invaluable Tool for Lab
In 2013 Aurora Scientific was approached by Dr. Espen Spangenburg at the University of Maryland about our 1200A test system for working with isolated EDL and soleus muscle taken from mice.
Dr. Spangenburg studied the mechanisms of muscle metabolism and intended to make use of in-vitro techniques to perform his research. While Dr. Spangenburg was familiar with these types of experiments from his work with similar home-built equipment used in graduate school, he needed something easy to use and reliable for his own lab.
Though the system was essentially a standard configuration, the 1200A proved that it is an easy to use, turnkey system for measuring mechanics of intact excised muscle. Aurora Scientific provided Dr. Spangenburg with a robust, accurate system that was capable of being configured to fit his specific needs. The system was engineered to include an adjustable tissue bath and mounts to simplify experimental setup. In addition, we included our flagship Dual-Mode muscle lever, enabling the control of both force and length for a gamut of experimental protocols. Aurora Scientific provided further technical support to Dr. Spangenburg’s students covering software use and best practices for using the system.
Dr. Spangenburg was easily able to set up and configure the equipment to his lab’s needs and obtained high-quality contractile data immediately with the first muscle tested using the system. The ability to adjust the tissue bath and mounts to suit their needs provided an avenue for straightforward tissue attachment and Lo measurement for accurate and reproducible experimentation. Control and measurement of force and length allowed the lab to go beyond isometric measurement to test more complex muscle mechanics, such as eccentric and concentric contractions. The test system proved to be easy to use by both professor and student alike and was used by the lab for several subsequent studies. The 1200A enabled them to expand their research, resulting in a number of publications, and remains an essential piece of equipment for the lab to date.
1305A – Footplate Configuration for Rats Invaluable to the Study of Muscle Damage
In 2012, Marius Locke at the University of Toronto had been studying skeletal muscle damage and the role that heat shock proteins (HSPs) play in protecting the muscle from stress-induced damage, such as exercise.
Dr. Locke was looking for equipment that could reliably and repeatedly induce muscle damage in his rats while accurately quantifying force production and recovery.
Our 1305A system was suggested for the job as it had the ability to perform the kinds of repeated contractions that Dr. Locke was looking to accomplish. It was first implemented piecemeal to integrate with some existing equipment in the laboratory, but because of its ease of use, the remaining Aurora Scientific pieces were added for a complete system. Aurora Scientific technical support helped craft the best protocols for Dr. Locke’s experiments and soon thereafter the first cohort of rats was tested.
The system has helped Dr. Locke and his graduate students publish valuable findings about the protective role of HSPs in damaged muscle. In addition, Dr. Locke established an important rat model of standard human exercise protocols to gain valuable, physiologically relevant data which may one day be applicable to athletes and people alike.
1400A – Durable System Helps Researcher Study Thousands of Fibers
In 2004, Dr. Hans Degens was studying changes in skeletal muscle function and morphology. Dr. Degens was looking to use permeabilized fibers as his test samples as they represent a pure system for studying cross-bridge mechanics without bias and artifacts.
Dr. Degens was familiar with the experimental methodology of using skinned fibers but lacked the resources to build a system from scratch that could handle the higher throughput demands of testing human samples.
Aurora Scientific had recently released the 1400A system. This system featured an automatically indexing chamber enabling maximization of fiber throughput. The design also eliminated any manual bath movement, commonly found in designs at the time, thereby protecting the sensitive transducer from breakage. Dr. Degens’ system was also the first to feature peltier driven temperature control, allowing for extremely stable and precise bath temperatures, critical to these measurements. The powerful 600A Real-Time Muscle Data Acquisition and Analysis System provides the flexibility to allow Dr. Degens to easily run a host of experimental protocols from the simplest to the most complex.
The system has been in nearly constant use in Dr. Degens’ lab for the last 11 years and has helped him collect data required for many influential and fascinating studies in exercise physiology, comparative biology and cardiovascular health amongst countless others. This initial partnership with Aurora Scientific has led to other projects in whole muscle physiology as well.