Once you have created your study, added an animal to the study, and set up the animal on the apparatus, only stimulation optimization must be completed before running the study. In the main window, click “File” and select “Live Data Monitor” from the dropdown menu. This window allows you to view contractions in real time. On the 701C stimulator, ensure the “Range” dial is set to 10mA and the “Adjust” dial is set to 1 (dorsiflexion) or 5 (plantarflexion). Next, in the program’s main window, click “Prepare Experiment” and then “Configure Instant Stim”. You may populate the parameters with the following values: 100 Hz, 0.2 ms, 1, 1 Hz, 1 s. Then, click “Instant Stim”. This will produce a twitch stimulation and you should observe a twitch spike in the force readout of the live data monitor. Increase the current output by turning the “Adjust” dial on the stimulator and click ‘Instant Stim’ again and you should see that the torque measurements in the force readout increase, which is displayed in the ‘prepare experiment’ window in a different colour. Repeat this process until the amplitude of the twitch plateaus whereby an increase in current no longer results in an increase in torque. The optimum current is the lowest current that produces the maximum torque. Note that too much current may activate antagonistic muscles of the leg resulting in aggregate torque and thus lower torque measurements. Once determined, the optimum current stimulation can be used when running the remainder of your study experiments.
Again, before running the experiments, click “File” and select “Live Data Monitor” from the dropdown menu in the main window. Ensure that you also click “Analyze Results” in the main window. This will provide a snapshot of the most recent contraction as well as populating prior contractions from experiments consisting of multiple contractions (i.e. Force-Frequency, Fatigue and Injury).
Your experiments are ready to run and your data can be viewed throughout the duration of each experiment. Click “Run Experiment” in the main window and it will run the experiment displayed in the bottom left “Experiment” box. Click “Next” or “Prev” to toggle between experiments within a study.