Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
Research: skeletal muscle physiology and biophysics
Rene Vandenboom is very interested in fuel efficiency, but it’s not the latest model of hybrid car that has captured his attention. It’s skeletal muscles.
According to Vandenboom, each skeletal muscle is a biological motor, converting chemical energy to mechanical energy to power us through our physical environment. His research focuses on how muscle translates the chemical signal for contraction, calcium, into mechanical force and movement. Despite the fact that our skeletal muscles are amazingly adaptable biological organs that serve a host of biological needs to ensure our survival, muscle function is not perfect. Prolonged or intense usage inevitably leads to a condition of reduced performance known as fatigue. Vandenboom is particularly interested in how muscles resist this fatigue, a process called muscle force potentiation.
Ultimately, he hopes his research will drive a better understanding of the ways in which muscle force potentiation influences how muscles perform during exercise, sport and work.