Isolated myofibers are commonly used to understand the function of skeletal muscle in vivo. This can involve single isolated myofibers obtained from dissection or from enzymatic dissociation. Isolation via dissection allows control of sarcomere length and preserves tendon attachment but is labor-intensive, time-consuming and yields few viable myofibers. In contrast, enzymatic dissociation is fast and facile, produces hundreds of myofibers, and more importantly reduces the number of muscles/animals needed for studies. Biomechanical properties of the sarcolemma have been studied using myofibers from the extensor digitorum longus, but this has been limited to dissected myofibers, making data collection slow and difficult. We have modified this tool to perform biomechanical measurements of the sarcolemma in dissociated myofibers from the flexor digitorum brevis.
Keywords: cell mechanics; dissection; elastimetry; enzymatically dissociated fibers; myofibers.