Novel tool evaluates the contractile force-related state of myotubes

Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have developed a way to characterize the force generated by contracting myotubes, precursors to skeletal muscle fiber, combining electrostimulation and analysis of wrinkles in the silicone substrate on which they are mounted. Existing methods rely on muscle mass or the expression of certain proteins, both not as strongly correlated with muscle strength. Accurate measurement of myotube strength promises more effective screening of drug targets for treating muscle atrophy.