New Approaches to Muscle Architecture and Function

To study the evolution of feeding, grasping, and locomotion, it is important to be able to accurately estimate muscle forces and their direction of action. In collaboration with Carol Ward and Casey Holliday (University of Missouri Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences), we are using contrast-enhanced CT imaging (DICE-CT) to explore the internal architecture of muscles in exceptional detail.

Presently our studies are focused on feeding systems in archosaurs and the hands and feet of mammals.

We use DICE-CT followed by fascicle tracking to generate a 3D model of whole muscles. We can then process the resulting data to estimate the individual and combined effects of muscle architecture on function.