Physiology Brownbag Seminars – Fall 2019

Physiology Brownbag Seminars – Fall 2019

Physiology “brown-bag” lunchtime seminars are held twice a month on WEDNESDAYS at noon in Applied Physiology Building, room 1253 (or as indicated). Special seminar dates/times outside of the regular schedule are indicated as such.

Contact Dr. Boris Prilutsky, boris.prilutsky@biosci.gatech.edu, to be considered as a future speaker, added to the e-mail distribution list, if you would like to meet with a speaker, or for other seminar-related inquiries.
For directions: Applied Physiology

SEMINAR: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Pregnancy-induced changes to muscle-tendon morphology and function

Nicole Danos, PhD
Department of Biology
University of San Diego

Abstract

Although live bearing is a defining feature of all eutherian mammals we know surprisingly little about the effects of pregnancy on skeletal muscle. We used the gastrocnemius muscle of rats as a model system to examine the organ and whole animal level effects of pregnancy, by comparing animals that had never been pregnant, primiparous animals, and postpartum animals. We predict that the effects of certain hormones, especially relaxin, would lead to increased muscle vascularization, new muscle cell formation and reduction in the stiffness of connective tissues such as tendons and aponeuroses. We examine the effects of these morphological changes on whole organism locomotion and in situ muscle performance.

BIO: Dr. Nicole Danos is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of San Diego. She is a broadly trained Vertebrate Comparative Anatomist who uses both model and non-model organisms to study the relationship between form and function. Her studies focus on the anatomy and mechanical properties of soft tissues, including muscle, and how these might contribute to critical organismal functions such as walking and eating. Current projects include the Biomechanics of Breastfeeding, the Effects of Pregnancy on Muscle Function, and Sexual Dimorphism in Feeding Chameleons.

Host: Greg Sawicki
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 PM
Location: Applied Physiology Building (555 14th Street NW, 30318), Room 1253

 

SEMINAR: Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Changing in-series compliance modulates mechanosensation in active muscle contractions

Emily Abbott, PhD
Departments of Biological Sciences and Mechanical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

Abstract

People and animals rely on mechanoreceptors in muscles and tendons to accurately encode changes in both length and force. These mechanoreceptors send a series of action potentials to the nervous system to inform motor control for movement and balance. A major challenge in neuromechanics, particularly relevant to human health, is linking muscle-tendon (MT) morphology to proprioception. In anesthetized rats, we recorded intra-axonal sensory signals from active MT contractions. To modify the functional morphology, we physically added in-series springs. We demonstrated that increasing MT compliance acutely modulates the gain of a muscle spindles. Therefore, conditions that alter MT compliance, like exercise, pregnancy, disease or aging, may modulate movements informed by sensory feedback.

BIO: Dr. Emily Abbott is a postdoctoral fellow in Physiology of Wearable Robotics Laboratory in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. She is interested in the physiology and biomechanics of animal movement. Her PhD dissertation aimed to identify factors that affect muscle-tendon interactions during decelerating movements such as landing, braking or running downhill. Currently she investigates effects of mechanical properties of the muscle-tendon unit on muscle mechanosensation.

Host: Greg Sawicki
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 PM
Location: Applied Physiology Building (555 14th Street NW, 30318), Room 1253