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Muscle Structure and Contraction — Insect Model


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Zip File Size - 6.4 MB

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- Description -

This animation uses the grasshopper leg muscle as a model to illustrate the structure and contraction of striated muscles from the tissue to the molecular levels in invertebrate animals.  It shows how the band pattern of sarcomeres reflects their actin-myosin arrangement, and how the biochemical interactions of actin and myosin result in sliding filaments for muscle contraction.

This animation was developed for educators interested in teaching this topic from an invertebrate perspective. Since the structures and contraction mechanisms for striated muscles are identical in both vertebrates and invertebrates, all scenes for this animation and for the human bicep muscle animation are identical, except for use of the grasshopper leg-muscle model in scene 2 and the innervation in scene 5.

Total Runtime: approx. 7 min; 7 Scenes


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More Testimonials:
I am a stay-at-home mom who is going back to school for nursing.  I have just spent an obscene amount of time reading about muscle structure and contraction in my textbook.  I happened upon your website and after viewing your animation, a lightbulb went off in my head.  Now I get it!!!  THANK YOU!!! - C.V

Thank you so much for the use of your muscle animations.  They give a wonderful overview of the structure and function of muscle fibers that I will use in my presentation for a high school anatomy and physiology course at … Academy. - H.E.

I am a first year medical student ….  Our program uses a non-traditional curriculum, focused on patient centered learning.  …each group member is assigned a learning issue to research and present the next time we meet.  Our case this week is a patient with muscular dystrophy and my learning objective to present …the mechanism of muscle contraction.  I plan to use your animation during my presentation.  I think it is a wonderful tool to understand this physiologic concept.  Thank you, - C. J., University of North Dakota

…by random chance, I found your animations.  Fabulous, especially the muscle contraction one.  That kind of thing (where you start at a macroscopic level and then go down through the microscopic levels) gives students the ability to visualize exactly the kind of thing that many of them have a really hard time imagining in their heads. - J.H., Seattle Central Community College

…I'm a university student in Australia, I just thought I'd email you to say thank you for creating such an excellent animation (the muscle one- I'm not sure how many others you have) I found it to be incredible useful. Most animations are hard to follow and too brief, yours was so detailed and clear, it really helped me to understand how muscle cells actually work. - J.D.

I'm using your muscle structure and function animation with my AP Biology class.  Great graphics!  I couldn't explain it as well just by myself. … - A.W. ...High School

I am using your illustrations to teach muscle contraction in a group of 100 students in Biomedical Sciences. These illustrations are well thought of, well designed, outstandingly didactic, sophisticated and yet practical. Congratulations for an outstanding achievement. - J.B., MD, PhD, Universite de Montreal

I'm not a teacher, just a student taking A&P and trying to understand this stuff.  Your movie was wonderful! - D.

Thank you so much for the helpful tutorials!  My only wish is that there might be more!  I have just taken a final in physiology and used your muscle contraction demonstration to prepare.  As a visual learner, I can attest to the importance of that kind of teaching. - C.L. Student, Johns Hopkins University

I wanted to send you an email & let you know how wonderfully helpful
your Muscle Structure & Contraction Animation (website) is.  I teach
Anat & Phys in an Oklahoma City area high school.  I have several
different formats through which I try to get my students to get some
sort of idea on muscle structure hierarchy & physiological function.
Your presentation & graphics are superb.  Thanks so much for allowing us
to benefit from your hard work. - M.L., Science Department Chair, -- High School, Oklahoma City

I wanted to send you an email & let you know how wonderfully helpful
your Muscle Structure I am very impressed with the muscle contraction animation.  I partricularly like the fact that it starts with an organism and goes all the way to the molecular mechanism.  I use this at Houston Community College and I link it to my Anatomy and Physiology distance education class.  ... I showed it to the students and they loved it. - S.G., Ph.D

Just to let you know that I provide a link to your animation for my students. I teach year 13 students A level biology in the UK. The students find it particularly useful as a plenary after being taught the various steps to muscle structure and contraction. I have also provided the link as a part of a self study unit on muscles. Thank you for an excellent resource -R.K.

I have been meaning to email you for a few years. As a new professor I am still building my "bank" of resources for my  students on many topics. I typically teach ... (mutiple biology courses). I came across your animation illustrating how muscle sarcomeres move while preparing  for my first course. I knew right away that this would  benefit my students who were struggling with learning how myosin and actin "produced movement" in muscle cells.  I have used this animation for the past three years- and it  has been very popular with my students.
THANK YOU for taking the time to create such animations. It truly does help students grasp these concepts when they are attemping to learn biology for the first time. - S.C., Biology Department, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada

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What users have said:

… I'm … 20-years out of college and just beginning a mid-life career change from HR manager to registered nurse. … I thought I would "ease" myself back to school by taking one course at night …The course I chose was Anatomy and Physiology, … I walked out of the first class overwhelmed.  Putting nose to grindstone, I made an A on my first exam covering cell structure, tissues, and the integumentary system.  But we moved on to muscles, and I left my last class session with 25 pages of hand-written notes about a simple gesture I had previously taken completely for granted; the muscle contraction. 

Despite my diligent note-taking, I just couldn't connect all the concepts.  In desperation, I turned to the Internet hoping that someone, somewhere, had posted a simple diagram.  I plugged in the search terms "actin", "myosin", "atp", and "muscle.  Well, I initially scanned through results that included plugs for creatine phosphate from self-proclaimed health sites and complicated lecture notes intended for MENSA medical students.  Then among the disappointing search results, I came across your muscle contraction animation. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!  In 30 minutes, I gained a fuller understanding of muscle contractions than I had after 5 straight nights of studying my notes and textbook.  Everything suddenly clicked as I watched your animations.  Terms like "sacomere" and "synaptic cleft" were no longer just words, but clear and distinct parts of a process that made complete and understandable sense.

…I wanted to simply thank you for "teaching me" via this wonderful technology called the Internet. - JS.






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