Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Decomposition of skeletal muscle tensiomyogram with identification of contractile paramaters for sensitive monitoring of muscle adaptation

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.10.00  Social sciences  Sport   

Code Science Field
B580  Biomedical sciences  Skeleton, muscle system, rheumatology locomotion 

Code Science Field
3.03  Medical and Health Sciences  Health sciences 
Skeletal muscle, Diagnostics, Atrophy, Rehabilitation, Training
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (15)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  21537  PhD Matjaž Divjak  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2018 - 2021  104 
2.  21301  PhD Aleš Holobar  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2018 - 2021  501 
3.  03782  PhD Peter Kokol  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2018 - 2021  1,222 
4.  23936  Patricia Kompara    Technical associate  2018 - 2021 
5.  33307  PhD Katja Koren  Sport  Researcher  2018 - 2020  42 
6.  39011  Jernej Kranjec  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2018 - 2021  38 
7.  34516  PhD Uroš Marušič  Sport  Researcher  2018 - 2021  340 
8.  31305  PhD Cecil J.W. Meulenberg  Neurobiology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  75 
9.  36506  PhD Uroš Mlakar  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2018 - 2021  64 
10.  38863  PhD Marco Vincenzo Narici  Sport  Researcher  2018 - 2021  170 
11.  38248  PhD Armin Paravlić  Sport  Researcher  2018 - 2021  128 
12.  11612  PhD Rado Pišot  Sport  Researcher  2018 - 2021  1,004 
13.  50897  PhD Carlo Reggiani  Sport  Researcher  2018 - 2021  93 
14.  21102  PhD Boštjan Šimunič  Computer intensive methods and applications  Head  2018 - 2021  580 
15.  17876  PhD Milan Zorman  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2018 - 2020  353 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  1510  Science and Research Centre Koper  Koper  7187416000  13,880 
2.  0796  University of Maribor, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science  Maribor  5089638003  27,543 
Skeletal muscle’s intrinsic contractile properties are assessed using dynamometer, attached distally from observed joint, although science a long time ago brought-up several issues that diminishes the quality of the interpretation of such approach. In 1980s an alternative approaches for detection of more intrinsic contractile properties were developed and were named by the nature of the sensor: phono/soundmyography, as they use microphones to detect muscle sound; vibromyography uses accelerometers and laser beams to detect thickening and vibration of a muscle belly. All those methods aimed to assess muscle contraction directly on the muscle belly and not as dynamometry. Slovenia played a marginal role in this quest with a Tensiomyography (TMG) that detects skeletal muscle belly thickening during twitch isometric contraction selectively and non-invasively. Since the first TMG publication back in 1990 already 107 SCI publications arose with an exponential trend. TMG allows high signal-to-noise ratio, high sensitivity and no need for post-processing of the signals. Immediately we found high correlation between myosin heavy chain I and TMG derived contractile parameters. The TMG method is generally accepted; however, it needs more basic investigation to understand the signal’s parameters, signal pathways and mechanisms for a high quality of interpretation. There are several issues that needs to be investigated. Therefore, the aim of this project is to design a TMG decomposition model to different motor unit phenotypes for better understaing of mechanisms of contraction and the effects of other factors, such are: muscle size and architecture, muscle composition, muscle fluid content, muscle fibre mechanics and geometry (cross sectional area, velocity of contraction, force, tension), adhesive tissues (costameres, tendons), fatigue/potentiation. Firstly we will upgrade equipment in a specialised laboratory to detect high-speed muscle fibre dynamics of geometry changes during contractions (shortening, thickening). This will give us a new approach to detect intrinsic contractile properties of single fibres and they will be used in construction of TMG decomposition model, which will be upgraded until the certain accuracy and complexity. Finally the model will be cross-validated and applied in four studies. In a fatigue study we will test decomposition for sensitivity to assess muscle contractile properties changes as a result of different fatigue types affecting motor units. Similar will be done in acute and chronic adaptation study to 8-weeks of plyometric exercise. Within the atrophy study we will test TMG and decomposition to be sensitive for early detection of atrophic processes after inactivity, as we know in certain populations atrophy is rarely reversible (this study will be co-financed by Italian Space Agency in 2019). Similarly, we will validate decomposition results to classification of sarcopenia, as there is EU consensus set for sarcopenia classification but evidence is that there is almost no agreement in different methods for sarcopenia classification. TMG decomposition is surely necessary for further method’s development to assure more accurate understanding of the signal and better interpretation of the results. However, this is possible only with invasive procedures, where this research team has vast experience, as lot of our publications comes from the analysis of muscle samples.
Significance for science
Project research team has in last 5 years: No of SCI publications: 183 (78% in A1 and a2) A'': 1122 A': 3214 No of clean citations: 5304 (530 most cited work) Researchers of the Institute for Kinesiology Research at the UP SRC, the applicant of the project, are for many years involved in researching space physiology, exercise physiology, environmental physiology, motor performance and working ability in interaction of man and the environment. The fundamental challenge of research has always been a skeletomuscular system, motor control and muscle metabolism in specific activity. We participate in an international research teams, which represents top class in researching exercise physiology. Even in the proposed project we will accomplish the research objectives in cooperation with domestic and foreign partners, which will contribute to the publicity of research achievements. Tensiomyography (TMG) is a scientific method, developed in Slovenia in 1990. After international patent was obtained and spin-off company TMG-BMC Ltd. was established we installed more than 250 systems worldwide. Mostly in sport clubs, medical institutions, and research institutions. Until now 107 SCI publications using TMG as a scientic tool were accepted. Furthermore, we established International Society of Tensiomyography to issue already 3 volumes of a scientific journal Advances in skeletal muscle function assessment at Walters and Kluver publishing house and annual conference. In 2015, 13 years after TMG installation in FC Barcelona, the head physician football vlub mentioned importance of TMG in Muscle Injury Clinical Guide 3.0, and we accredited the same year also FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence. This proposed research will try to answer some basic scientific questions, which in the study of skeletal muscle challenge a number of researchers. Therefore, in the proposed research, we want to model whether TMG is able to assess intrinsic whole muscle properties with a higher accuracy and validity than other standard research tools. We believe that TMG should be even more accepted as a clinical or a sport scientific tool. In case we are successful, we will open a new research fields to TMG, and most of all the results will have more firm conclusion with higher quality of interpretation. We belive to have a bigger breakthrough in the fields of muscle fatigue, acute and chronic adaptation to potentiation, sport training, physical inactivity/immobilisation, rehabilitation, diseases, sarcopenia classifiaction, etc.   Scientific background will represent an important contribution to students of our study program of Applied Kinesiology, of all three Bologna cycles. This will be a unique opportunity for a new dimension of education, which does not exist in Slovenia and its wider surroundings. The project also coincides with the already approved mentoring of 2 young researchers and will constitute a strong core of their research work.
Significance for the country
In the project we will upgrade the diagnostic-research method of Slovenian origin. We will study the mechanisms of TMG assessed contractile parameters. By this we will assure to users higher quality and validity of results interpretation. As every scientific method, also TMG need indepth research, that will explain the vairance of its results for better work of its users: physicians, therapeuts, kinesiologists, sport trainiers. Additional proof is the basic research performed by Simunic et al. (2011) who explained one TMG derived parameter and the SCI publication arose from 1-4 annualy before 2011 to 6-28 annualy. Direct effects are expected in improvement of TMG method and also in it's applications (sport, medicine, education, research) where is already being used: - a new laboratory procedure for measuring muscle contraction (micro TMG) - Replacing the invasive measurement of muscle properties - Enabling muscle measurement, where it is extremely difficult to implement invasive procedures - In this way, it is possible in an ethically accessible way to enable regular monitoring of muscular development and transformation for all target groups (including children) - New diagnostic methods for measuring selective atrophy in neuromuscular diseases - A new diagnostic method for measuring hyper and hypotonia in neuromuscular diseases - The first method for measuring the composite muscle contraction velocity at the whole muscle level - Application of the method for measuring muscular fatigue and potentiation - Easy monitoring of acute response and chronic adaptation of multiple skeletal muscles to a specific loading - Distribution of fatigue and potentiation to synergistic and antagonistic muscles - Definition of the time period for restoring muscle potential - Monitoring of muscular imbalances, changing the muscle properties over time, the training process - Understanding the impact of short-term and long-term physical inactivity for designing and validating interventions to counteract these effects - New method for sensitive monitoring of early atrophy and hypertrophy processes - An effective method of rehabilitation after physical inactivity - A new diagnostic method for the classification of sarcopenia and the distribution of sarcopenia with respect to a part of the body - Understanding the impact of regular exercise (aerobic and anaerobic) in interaction with physical inactivity, on skeletal muscle and sarcopenia - Protocol of intime warnings and advice to people in the fight against sarcopenia At present, 200 TMG systems are installed worldwide that all link to the International Society of Tensiomyography. At annual congresses, they exchange views and direct further development of the method and its involvement in various professional and research fields. The theme of the project as well as the results will be immediately installed in existing and new measurement systems, thus enabling all users to work with patients, athletes, children, the elderly in ensuring quality aging with newest results.
Most important scientific results Interim report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report
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