Engineering

Artificial 'muscles' achieve powerful pulling force

As a cucumber plant grows, it sprouts tightly coiled tendrils that seek out supports in order to pull the plant upward. This ensures the plant receives as much sunlight exposure as possible. Now, researchers at MIT have found ...

Engineering

Breakthrough gives artificial muscles superhuman strength

Putting "socks" on artificial muscles made from inexpensive materials helps them produce 40 times more flex than human muscle, a global research project has found, featuring researchers from the University of Wollongong (UOW) ...

Engineering

Cyborg-like microchip valve driven by earthworm muscle

Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) in Japan have developed the first microchip valve powered by living cells. Earthworm muscle tissue allowed for a high contractile force that could be sustained ...

Automotive

Virtual human body models supplement crash-test dummies

Countless people die every year in road accidents. To improve the safety of vehicle occupants, it has been customary for decades to carry out crash-tests using dummies. These crash-test dummies are increasingly getting virtual ...

Robotics

Robotic trousers could help disabled people walk again

Could the answer to mobility problems one day be as easy as pulling on a pair of trousers? A research team led by Bristol University's Professor Jonathan Rossiter has recently unveiled a prototype pair of robotic trousers ...

Robotics

Iimproved integration of living muscles into robots

The new field of biohybrid robotics involves the use of living tissue within robots, rather than just metal and plastic. Muscle is one potential key component of such robots, providing the driving force for movement and function. ...

Robotics

Transparent eel-like soft robot can swim silently underwater

An innovative, eel-like robot developed by engineers and marine biologists at the University of California can swim silently in salt water without an electric motor. Instead, the robot uses artificial muscles filled with ...

Robotics

Researchers design 'soft' robots that can move on their own

If Star Wars' R2-D2 is your idea of a robot, think again. Researchers led by a University of Houston engineer have reported a new class of soft robot, composed of ultrathin sensing, actuating electronics and temperature-sensitive ...

Robotics

Biobot made of heart cells and gel looks like fluttering butterfly

A team of researchers at Southeast University in Nanjing, China, has developed a heart-on-a-chip platform incorporating rat heart muscle cells, hydrogel and nanocrystals. In their paper published in the journal Science Robotics, ...

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Muscle

Muscle (from Latin musculus, diminutive of mus "mouse") is the contractile tissue of the body and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell. They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles. Their function is to produce force and cause motion. Muscles can cause either locomotion of the organism itself or movement of internal organs. Cardiac and smooth muscle contraction occurs without conscious thought and is necessary for survival. Examples are the contraction of the heart and peristalsis which pushes food through the digestive system. Voluntary contraction of the skeletal muscles is used to move the body and can be finely controlled. Examples are movements of the eye, or gross movements like the quadriceps muscle of the thigh. There are two broad types of voluntary muscle fibers: slow twitch and fast twitch. Slow twitch fibers contract for long periods of time but with little force while fast twitch fibers contract quickly and powerfully but fatigue very rapidly.

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