Stiffness and tone of skeletal muscle groups in a ground-based spaceflight analogue (bed rest) with reactive jump intervention (MYOTON)

  • Schneider, Stefan (Projektpartner*in)
  • Blottner, Dieter (Projektleiter*in)
  • Peipsi, Aleko (Projektpartner*in)



Disuse atrophy of skeletal muscle is paralleled by several biodynamically-related changes including stiffness and tone (tension) in a given muscle or muscle group. We therefore propose to investigate stiffness, tone (tension), and elasticity of the human myofascial structures (skeletal muscle, fascia, tendons) by non-invasive myometry in healthy male bed rest subjects performing exercise intervention (reactive jump) during long-term bed rest. We use the MyotonPro device (, a new small handheld electronic device ( “smart phone” sized with oscillating pin), that has been successfully tested in previous controlled clinical settings and in an ESA parabolic flight campaign for feasibility and reliability of myometry data sampling in practical situations. Measures will be performed by a skilled operator on fully relaxed volunteer subjects before (BDC), during (HDT) and after bed rest (R) at defined muscle groups, fascia regions or tendons that are easily palpable through the skin surface of the human trunk or upper and lower limbs. Muscle groups were selected according to their special topography and functions in normal human performance. We selected locals/stabilizers (erector spinae, soleus) involved in postural function, and mobilisers (knee extensor, plantar flexors) involved in explosive power production and mobility of trunk and leg. Muscles from upper limbs (biceps brachii) serve as internal control in bed rest. Myometric data in bed rest will be compared to baseline data before bed rest and, more importantly, to myometric data from the recovery period after end of bed rest. All myometric measures will be performed at fully relaxation of subjects preferentially on a couch or stretcher in a separated quiet room.
We expect to collect a wealth of significant myometric data (frequency, Hz, log decrement, Nm, Deborah number, and relaxation time, ms) from defined regional myofascial structures that would help to monitor and map disuse-induced changes in functionally important muscular and enthese (muscle-fascia-tendon) structures that might be alleviated by exercise countermeasure during bed rest. In addition to MRI/CT, Ultrasound, EMG and force, non-invasive myometry might be useful for monitoring and assessment of the biodynamically important parameters of skeletal muscle quality following disuse and exercise in simulated microgravity in bed rest.
Tatsächlicher Beginn/ -es Ende01.08.1501.08.17


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