Human skeletal muscle architecture studied in vivo by non-invasive imaging techniques: functional significance and applications.

  • Narici M
  • 1


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


The internal architecture plays an essential role in determining the functional features of skeletal muscle. Both length-force and force-velocity relationships depend on the spatial arrangement of muscle fibres in skeletal muscle. The degree of muscle pennation determines both the amount of contractile tissue packed along the tendons and fibre length, and is reflected by the force-generating capacity and shortening velocity of the muscle and by the elastic properties of the muscle-tendon complex. Until recently, knowledge on human muscle architecture was based on measurements performed on cadavers, whose muscle fibres were often shrunk by the preserving medium and by age. With the introduction of non-invasive imaging techniques, it has become possible to study muscle architecture in vivo at rest and the changes thereof upon contraction. This paper discusses the applications of these techniques, namely ultrasonography and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, and their relevance in physiology and biomechanics.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Animals
  • Biomechanics
  • Elasticity
  • Humans
  • Muscle
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle Fibers
  • Skeletal
  • Skeletal: anatomy & histology
  • Skeletal: physiology

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • M V Narici

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free