Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 145

Search results for: muscle

145 Comparative Effect of Self-Myofascial Release as a Warm-Up Exercise on Functional Fitness of Young Adults

Authors: Gopal Chandra Saha, Sumanta Daw

Abstract:

Warm-up is an essential component for optimizing performance in various sports before a physical fitness training session. This study investigated the immediate comparative effect of Self-Myofascial Release through vibration rolling (VR), non-vibration rolling (NVR), and static stretching as a part of a warm-up treatment on the functional fitness of young adults. Functional fitness is a classification of training that prepares the body for real-life movements and activities. For the present study 20male physical education students were selected as subjects. The age of the subjects was ranged from 20-25 years. The functional fitness variables undertaken in the present study were flexibility, muscle strength, agility, static and dynamic balance of the lower extremity. Each of the three warm-up protocol was administered on consecutive days, i.e. 24 hr time gap and all tests were administered in the morning. The mean and SD were used as descriptive statistics. The significance of statistical differences among the groups was measured by applying ‘F’-test, and to find out the exact location of difference, Post Hoc Test (Least Significant Difference) was applied. It was found from the study that only flexibility showed significant difference among three types of warm-up exercise. The observed result depicted that VR has more impact on myofascial release in flexibility in comparison with NVR and stretching as a part of warm-up exercise as ‘p’ value was less than 0.05. In the present study, within the three means of warm-up exercises, vibration roller showed better mean difference in terms of NVR, and static stretching exercise on functional fitness of young physical education practitioners, although the results were found insignificant in case of muscle strength, agility, static and dynamic balance of the lower extremity. These findings suggest that sports professionals and coaches may take VR into account for designing more efficient and effective pre-performance routine for long term to improve exercise performances. VR has high potential to interpret into an on-field practical application means.

Keywords: Self-myofascial release, functional fitness, foam roller, physical education.

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144 The Impact of Protein Content on Athletes’ Body Composition

Authors: G. Vici, L. Cesanelli, L. Belli, R. Ceci, V. Polzonetti

Abstract:

Several factors contribute to success in sport and diet is one of them. Evidence-based sport nutrition guidelines underline the importance of macro- and micro-nutrients’ balance and timing in order to improve athlete’s physical status and performance. Nevertheless, a high content of proteins is commonly found in resistance training athletes’ diet with carbohydrate intake that is not enough or not well planned. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of different protein and carbohydrate diet contents on body composition and sport performance on a group of resistance training athletes. Subjects were divided as study group (n=16) and control group (n=14). For a period of 4 months, both groups were subjected to the same resistance training fitness program with study group following a specific diet and control group following an ab libitum diet. Body compositions were evaluated trough anthropometric measurement (weight, height, body circumferences and skinfolds) and Bioimpedence Analysis. Physical strength and training status of individuals were evaluated through the One Repetition Maximum test (RM1). Protein intake in studied group was found to be lower than in control group. There was a statistically significant increase of body weight, free fat mass and body mass cell of studied group respect to the control group. Fat mass remains almost constant. Statistically significant changes were observed in quadriceps and biceps circumferences, with an increase in studied group. The MR1 test showed improvement in study group’s strength but no changes in control group. Usually people consume hyper-proteic diet to achieve muscle mass development. Through this study, it was possible to show that protein intake fixed at 1,7 g/kg/d can meet the individual's needs. In parallel, the increased intake of carbohydrates, focusing on quality and timing of assumption, has enabled the obtainment of desired results with a training protocol supporting a hypertrophic strategy. Therefore, the key point seems related to the planning of a structured program both from a nutritional and training point of view.

Keywords: Body composition, diet, exercise, protein.

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143 Evaluation of Bone and Body Mineral Profile in Association with Protein Content, Fat, Fat-Free, Skeletal Muscle Tissues According to Obesity Classification among Adult Men

Authors: Orkide Donma, Mustafa M. Donma

Abstract:

Obesity is associated with increased fat mass as well as fat percentage. Minerals are the elements, which are of vital importance. In this study, the relationships between body as well as bone mineral profile and the percentage as well as mass values of fat, fat-free portion, protein, skeletal muscle were evaluated in adult men with normal body mass index (N-BMI), and those classified according to different stages of obesity. A total of 103 adult men classified into five groups participated in this study. Ages were within 19-79 years range. Groups were N-BMI (Group 1), overweight (OW) (Group 2), first level of obesity (FLO) (Group 3), second level of obesity (SLO) (Group 4) and third level of obesity (TLO) (Group 5). Anthropometric measurements were performed. BMI values were calculated. Obesity degree, total body fat mass, fat percentage, basal metabolic rate (BMR), visceral adiposity, body mineral mass, body mineral percentage, bone mineral mass, bone mineral percentage, fat-free mass, fat-free percentage, protein mass, protein percentage, skeletal muscle mass and skeletal muscle percentage were determined by TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology. Statistical package (SPSS) for Windows Version 16.0 was used for statistical evaluations. The values below 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. All the groups were matched based upon age (p > 0.05). BMI values were calculated as 22.6 ± 1.7 kg/m2, 27.1 ± 1.4 kg/m2, 32.0 ± 1.2 kg/m2, 37.2 ± 1.8 kg/m2, and 47.1 ± 6.1 kg/m2 for groups 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively. Visceral adiposity and BMR values were also within an increasing trend. Percentage values of mineral, protein, fat-free portion and skeletal muscle masses were decreasing going from normal to TLO. Upon evaluation of the percentages of protein, fat-free portion and skeletal muscle, statistically significant differences were noted between NW and OW as well as OW and FLO (p < 0.05). However, such differences were not observed for body and bone mineral percentages. Correlation existed between visceral adiposity and BMI was stronger than that detected between visceral adiposity and obesity degree. Correlation between visceral adiposity and BMR was significant at the 0.05 level. Visceral adiposity was not correlated with body mineral mass but correlated with bone mineral mass whereas significant negative correlations were observed with percentages of these parameters (p < 0.001). BMR was not correlated with body mineral percentage whereas a negative correlation was found between BMR and bone mineral percentage (p < 0.01). It is interesting to note that mineral percentages of both body as well as bone are highly affected by the visceral adiposity. Bone mineral percentage was also associated with BMR. From these findings, it is plausible to state that minerals are highly associated with the critical stages of obesity as prominent parameters.

Keywords: Bone, men, minerals, obesity.

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142 Development and Usability Assessment of a Connected Resistance Exercise Band Application for Strength-Monitoring

Authors: J. A. Batsis, G. G. Boateng, L. M. Seo, C. L. Petersen, K. L. Fortuna, E. V. Wechsler, R. J. Peterson, S. B. Cook, D. Pidgeon, R. S. Dokko, R. J. Halter, D. F. Kotz

Abstract:

Resistance exercise bands are a core component of any physical activity strengthening program. Strength training can mitigate the development of sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass or strength and function with aging. Yet, the adherence of such behavioral exercise strategies in a home-based setting are fraught with issues of monitoring and compliance. Our group developed a Bluetooth-enabled resistance exercise band capable of transmitting data to an open-source platform. In this work, we developed an application to capture this information in real-time, and conducted three usability studies in two mixed-aged groups of participants (n=6 each) and a group of older adults with obesity participating in a weight-loss intervention (n=20). The system was favorable, acceptable and provided iterative information that could assist in future deployment on ubiquitous platforms. Our formative work provides the foundation to deliver home-based monitoring interventions in a high-risk, older adult population.

Keywords: Application, mHealth, older adult, resistance exercise band, sarcopenia.

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141 Importance of Macromineral Ratios and Products in Association with Vitamin D in Pediatric Obesity Including Metabolic Syndrome

Authors: Mustafa M. Donma, Orkide Donma

Abstract:

Metabolisms of macrominerals, those of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, are closely associated with the metabolism of vitamin D. Particularly magnesium, the second most abundant intracellular cation, is related to biochemical and metabolic processes in the body, such as those of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids. The status of each mineral was investigated in obesity to some extent. Their products and ratios may possibly give much more detailed information about the matter. The aim of this study is to investigate possible relations between each macromineral and some obesity-related parameters. This study was performed on 235 children, whose ages were between 06-18 years. Aside from anthropometric measurements, hematological analyses were performed. TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology was used to establish some obesity-related parameters including basal metabolic rate (BMR), total fat, mineral and muscle masses. World Health Organization body mass index (BMI) percentiles for age and sex were used to constitute the groups. The values above 99th percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Those between 95th and 99th percentiles were included into the obese group. The overweight group comprised of children whose percentiles were between 95 and 85. Children between the 85th and 15th percentiles were defined as normal. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) components (waist circumference, fasting blood glucose, triacylglycerol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, systolic pressure, diastolic pressure) were determined. High performance liquid chromatography was used to determine Vitamin D status by measuring 25-hydroxy cholecalciferol (25-hydroxy vitamin D3, 25(OH)D). Vitamin D values above 30.0 ng/ml were accepted as sufficient. SPSS statistical package program was used for the evaluation of data. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. The important points were the correlations found between vitamin D and magnesium as well as phosphorus (p < 0.05) that existed in the group with normal BMI values. These correlations were lost in the other groups. The ratio of phosphorus to magnesium was even much more highly correlated with vitamin D (p < 0.001). The negative correlation between magnesium and total fat mass (p < 0.01) was confined to the MetS group showing the inverse relationship between magnesium levels and obesity degree. In this group, calcium*magnesium product exhibited the highest correlation with total fat mass (p < 0.001) among all groups. Only in the MetS group was a negative correlation found between BMR and calcium*magnesium product (p < 0.05). In conclusion, magnesium is located at the center of attraction concerning its relationships with vitamin D, fat mass and MetS. The ratios and products derived from macrominerals including magnesium have pointed out stronger associations other than each element alone. Final considerations have shown that unique correlations of magnesium as well as calcium*magnesium product with total fat mass have drawn attention particularly in the MetS group, possibly due to the derangements in some basic elements of carbohydrate as well as lipid metabolism.

Keywords: Macrominerals, metabolic syndrome, pediatric obesity, vitamin D.

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140 Changes in Amino Acids Content in Muscle of European Eel (Anguilla anguilla) in Relation to Body Size

Authors: L. Gómez-Limia, I. Franco, T. Blanco, S. Martínez

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European eels (Anguilla anguilla) belong to Anguilliformes order and Anguillidae family. They are generally classified as warm-water fish. Eels have a great commercial value in Europe and Asian countries. Eels can reach high weights, although their commercial size is relatively low in some countries. The capture of larger eels would facilitate the recovery of the species, as well as having a greater number of either glass eels or elvers for aquaculture. In the last years, the demand and the price of eels have increased significantly. However, European eel is considered critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The biochemical composition of fishes is an important aspect of quality and affects the nutritional value and consumption quality of fish. In addition, knowing this composition can help predict an individual’s condition for their recovery. Fish is known to be important source of protein rich in essential amino acids. However, there is very little information about changes in amino acids composition of European eels with increase in size. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of two different weight categories on the amino acids content in muscle tissue of wild European eels. European eels were caught in River Ulla (Galicia, NW Spain), during winter. The eels were slaughtered in ice water immersion. Then, they were purchased and transferred to the laboratory. The eels were subdivided into two groups, according to the weight. The samples were kept frozen (-20 °C) until their analysis. Frozen eels were defrosted and the white muscle between the head and the anal hole. was extracted, in order to obtain amino acids composition. Thirty eels for each group were used. Liquid chromatography was used for separation and quantification of amino a cids. The results conclude that the eels are rich in glutamic acid, leucine, lysine, threonine, valine, isoleucine and phenylalanine. The analysis showed that there are significant differences (p < 0.05) among the eels with different sizes. Histidine, threonine, lysine, hydroxyproline, serine, glycine, arginine, alanine and proline were higher in small eels. European eels muscle presents between 45 and 46% of essential amino acids in the total amino acids. European eels have a well-balanced and high quality protein source in the respect of E/NE ratio. However, eels with higher weight showed a better ratio of essential and non-essential amino acid.

Keywords: European eels, amino acids, HPLC, body size.

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139 The Effect of Four-Week Resistance Exercise along with Milk Consumption on NT-proBNP and Plasma Troponin I

Authors: Rostam Abdi, Ahmad Abdi, Zahra Vahedi Langrodi

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The aim of this study is to investigate four-week resistance exercise and milk supplement on NT-proBNP and plasma troponin I of male students. Concerning the methodology of the study, 21 senior high school students of Ardebil city were selected. The selected subjects were randomly shared in three groups of control, exercise- water and exercise- milk. The exercise program includes resistance exercise for a big muscle group. The subjects of control group rested during the study and did not participate in any training. The subjects of exercise- water experimental group immediately received 400 cc water after exercise and exercise- milk group immediately received 400 cc low fat milk. Control-water groups consumed the same amount of water. 48 hours before and after the last exercise session, the blood sample of the subjects were taken for measuring the variables. NT-proBNP and Troponin I concentrations were measured by ELISA. For data analysis, one-way variance analysis test, correlated t-test and Bonferroni post hoc test were used. The significant difference of p ≤ 0.05 was accepted. Resistance training along with milk consumption leads to increase of plasma NT-proBNP, however; this increase has not reached the significant level. Furthermore, meaningful increase was observed in plasma NT–proBNP in exercise group between pretest and posttest values. Furthermore, no meaningful difference was observed between groups in terms of Troponin I after milk consumption. It seems that endurance exercises lead to change in the structure of heart muscle and is along with an increase of NT-proBNP. Furthermore, there is the possibility that milk consumption can lead to release of heart troponin I. The mechanism through which protein supplements have been put on heart troponin I is unknown and requires more research.

Keywords: Resistance exercise, milk, NT-proBNP, Troponin I.

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138 Carcass Characteristics and Qualities of Philippine White Mallard (Anas boschas L.) and Pekin (Anas platyrhynchos L.) Duck

Authors: Jerico M. Consolacion, Maria Cynthia R. Oliveros

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The Philippine White Mallard duck was compared with Pekin duck for potential meat production. A total of 50 ducklings were randomly assigned to five (5) pens per treatment after one month of brooding. Each pen containing five (5) ducks was considered as a replicate. The ducks were raised until 12 weeks of age and slaughtered at the end of the growing period. Meat from both breeds was analyzed. The data were subjected to the Independent-Sample T-test at 5% level of confidence. Results showed that post-mortem pH (0, 20 minutes, 50 minutes, 1 hour and 20 minutes, 1 hour and 50 minutes, and 24 hours ) did not differ significantly (P>0.05) between breeds. However, Pekin ducks (89.84±0.71) had a significantly higher water-holding capacity than Philippine White Mallard ducks (87.93±0.63) (P<0.05). Also, meat color (CIE L, a, b) revealed that no significant differences among the lightness, redness, and yellowness of the skin (breast) in both breeds (P>0.05) except for the yellowness of the lean muscles of the Pekin duck breast. Pekin duck meat (1.15±0.04) had significantly higher crude fat content than Philippine White Mallard (0.47±0.58). The study clearly showed that breed is a factor and provided some pronounced effects among the parameters. However, these results are considered as preliminary information on the meat quality of Philippine White Mallard duck. Hence, further studies are needed to understand and fully utilize it for meat production and develop different meat products from this breed.

Keywords: Crude fat, meat quality, water-holding capacity.

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137 The Role of Chemerin and Myostatin after Physical Activity

Authors: M. J. Pourvaghar, M. E. Bahram

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Obesity and overweight is one of the most common metabolic disorders in industrialized countries and in developing countries. One consequence of pathological obesity is cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Chemerin is an adipocyne that plays a role in the regulation of the adipocyte function and the metabolism of glucose in the liver and musculoskeletal system. Most likely, chemerin is involved in obesity-related disorders such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Aerobic exercises reduce the level of chemerin and cause macrophage penetration into fat cells and inflammatory factors. Several efforts have been made to clarify the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hypertrophy and muscular atrophy. Myostatin, a new member of the TGF-β family, is a transforming growth factor β that its expression negatively regulates the growth of the skeletal muscle; and the increase of this hormone has been observed in conditions of muscular atrophy. While in response to muscle overload, its levels decrease after the atrophy period, TGF-β is the most important cytokine in the development of skeletal muscle. Myostatin plays an important role in muscle control, and animal and human studies show a negative role of myostatin in the growth of skeletal muscle. Separation of myostatin from Golgi begins on the ninth day of the onset period and continues until birth at all times of muscle growth. Higher levels of myostatin are found in obese people. Resistance training for 10 weeks could reduce levels of plasma myostatin.

Keywords: Chemerin, myostatin, obesity, physical activity.

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136 Immunolabeling of TGF-β during Muscle Regeneration

Authors: K. Nikovics, D. Riccobono, M. Oger, H. Morin, L. Barbier, T. Poyot, X. Holy, A. Bendahmane, M. Drouet, A. L. Favier

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Muscle regeneration after injury (as irradiation) is of great importance. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms are still unclear. Cytokines are believed to play fundamental role in the different stages of muscle regeneration. They are secreted by many cell populations, but the predominant producers are macrophages and helper T cells. On the other hand, it has been shown that adipose tissue derived stromal/stem cell (ASC) injection could improve muscle regeneration. Stem cells probably induce the coordinated modulations of gene expression in different macrophage cells. Therefore, we investigated the patterns and timing of changes in gene expression of different cytokines occurring upon stem cells loading. Muscle regeneration was studied in an irradiated muscle of minipig animal model in presence or absence of ASC treatment (irradiated and treated with ASCs, IRR+ASC; irradiated not-treated with ASCs, IRR; and non-irradiated no-IRR). We characterized macrophage populations by immunolabeling in the different conditions. In our study, we found mostly M2 and a few M1 macrophages in the IRR+ASC samples. However, only few M2b macrophages were noticed in the IRR muscles. In addition, we found intensive fibrosis in the IRR samples. With in situ hybridization and immunolabeling, we analyzed the cytokine expression of the different macrophages and we showed that M2d macrophage are the most abundant in the IRR+ASC samples. By in situ hybridization, strong expression of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) was observed in the IRR+ASC but very week in the IRR samples. But when we analyzed TGF-β level with immunolabeling the expression was very different: many M2 macrophages showed week expression in IRR+ASC and few cells expressing stronger level in IRR muscles. Therefore, we investigated the MMP expressions in the different muscles. Our data showed that the M2 macrophages of the IRR+ASC muscle expressed MMP2 proteins. Our working hypothesis is that MMP2 expression of the M2 macrophages can decrease fibrosis in the IRR+ASC muscle by capturing TGF-β.

Keywords: Adipose tissue derived stromal/stem cell, cytokine, macrophage, muscle regeneration.

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135 Design and Modeling of Human Middle Ear for Harmonic Response Analysis

Authors: Shende Suraj Balu, A. B. Deoghare, K. M. Pandey

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The human middle ear (ME) is a delicate and vital organ. It has a complex structure that performs various functions such as receiving sound pressure and producing vibrations of eardrum and propagating it to inner ear. It consists of Tympanic Membrane (TM), three auditory ossicles, various ligament structures and muscles. Incidents such as traumata, infections, ossification of ossicular structures and other pathologies may damage the ME organs. The conditions can be surgically treated by employing prosthesis. However, the suitability of the prosthesis needs to be examined in advance prior to the surgery. Few decades ago, this issue was addressed and analyzed by developing an equivalent representation either in the form of spring mass system, electrical system using R-L-C circuit or developing an approximated CAD model. But, nowadays a three-dimensional ME model can be constructed using micro X-Ray Computed Tomography (μCT) scan data. Moreover, the concern about patient specific integrity pertaining to the disease can be examined well in advance. The current research work emphasizes to develop the ME model from the stacks of μCT images which are used as input file to MIMICS Research 19.0 (Materialise Interactive Medical Image Control System) software. A stack of CT images is converted into geometrical surface model to build accurate morphology of ME. The work is further extended to understand the dynamic behaviour of Harmonic response of the stapes footplate and umbo for different sound pressure levels applied at lateral side of eardrum using finite element approach. The pathological condition Cholesteatoma of ME is investigated to obtain peak to peak displacement of stapes footplate and umbo. Apart from this condition, other pathologies, mainly, changes in the stiffness of stapedial ligament, TM thickness and ossicular chain separation and fixation are also explored. The developed model of ME for pathologies is validated by comparing the results available in the literatures and also with the results of a normal ME to calculate the percentage loss in hearing capability.

Keywords: Computed tomography, human middle ear, harmonic response, pathologies, tympanic membrane.

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134 Effect of Pole Weight on Nordic Walking

Authors: Takeshi Sato, Mizuki Nakajima, Macky Kato, Shoji Igawa

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The purpose of study was to investigate the effect of varying pole weights on energy expenditure, upper limb and lower limb muscle activity as Electromyogram during Nordic walking (NW). Four healthy men [age = 22.5 (±1.0) years, body mass = 61.4 (±3.6) kg, height = 170.3 (±4.3) cm] and three healthy women [age = 22.7 (±2.9) years, body mass = 53.0 (±1.7) kg, height = 156.7 (±4.5) cm] participated in the experiments after informed consent. Seven healthy subjects were tested on the treadmill, walking, walking (W) with Nordic Poles (NW) and walking with 1kg weight Nordic Poles (NW+1). Walking speed was 6 km per hours in all trials. Eight EMG activities were recorded by bipolar surface methods in biceps brachii, triceps brachii, trapezius, deltoideus, tibialis anterior, medial gastrocnemius, rectus femoris and biceps femoris muscles. And heart rate (HR), oxygen uptake (VO2), and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured. The level of significance was set at a = 0.05, with p < 0.05 regarded as statistically significant. Our results confirmed that use of NW poles increased HR at a given upper arm muscle activity but decreased lower limb EMGs in comparison with W. Moreover NW was able to increase more step lengths with hip joint extension during NW rather than W. Also, EMG revealed higher activation of upper limb for almost all NW and 1kgNW tests plus added masses compared to W (p < 0.05). Therefore, it was thought either of NW and 1kgNW were to have benefit as a physical exercise for safe, feasible, and readily training for a wide range of aged people in the quality of daily life. However, there was no significant effected in leg muscles activity by using 1kgNW except for upper arm muscle activity during Nordic pole walking.

Keywords: Nordic walking, electromyogram, heart rate.

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133 Thermography Evaluation on Facial Temperature Recovery after Elastic Gum

Authors: A. Dionísio, L. Roseiro, J. Fonseca, P. Nicolau

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Thermography is a non-radiating and contact-free technology which can be used to monitor skin temperature. The efficiency and safety of thermography technology make it a useful tool for detecting and locating thermal changes in skin surface, characterized by increases or decreases in temperature. This work intends to be a contribution for the use of thermography as a methodology for evaluation of skin temperature in the context of orofacial biomechanics. The study aims to identify the oscillations of skin temperature in the left and right hemiface regions of the masseter muscle, during and after thermal stimulus, and estimate the time required to restore the initial temperature after the application of the stimulus. Using a FLIR T430sc camera, a data acquisition protocol was followed with a group of eight volunteers, aged between 22 and 27 years. The tests were performed in a controlled environment with the volunteers in a comfortably static position. The thermal stimulus involves the use of an ice volume with controlled size and contact surface. The skin surface temperature was recorded in two distinct situations, namely without further stimulus and with the additions of a stimulus obtained by a chewing gum. The data obtained were treated using FLIR Research IR Max software. The time required to recover the initial temperature ranged from 20 to 52 minutes when no stimulus was added and varied between 8 and 26 minutes with the chewing gum stimulus. These results show that recovery is faster with the addition of the stimulus and may guide clinicians regarding the pre and post-operative times with ice therapy, in the presence or absence of mechanical stimulus that increases muscle functions (e.g. phonetics or mastication).

Keywords: Thermography, orofacial biomechanics, skin temperature, ice therapy.

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132 Electromyography Pattern Classification with Laplacian Eigenmaps in Human Running

Authors: Elnaz Lashgari, Emel Demircan

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Electromyography (EMG) is one of the most important interfaces between humans and robots for rehabilitation. Decoding this signal helps to recognize muscle activation and converts it into smooth motion for the robots. Detecting each muscle’s pattern during walking and running is vital for improving the quality of a patient’s life. In this study, EMG data from 10 muscles in 10 subjects at 4 different speeds were analyzed. EMG signals are nonlinear with high dimensionality. To deal with this challenge, we extracted some features in time-frequency domain and used manifold learning and Laplacian Eigenmaps algorithm to find the intrinsic features that represent data in low-dimensional space. We then used the Bayesian classifier to identify various patterns of EMG signals for different muscles across a range of running speeds. The best result for vastus medialis muscle corresponds to 97.87±0.69 for sensitivity and 88.37±0.79 for specificity with 97.07±0.29 accuracy using Bayesian classifier. The results of this study provide important insight into human movement and its application for robotics research.

Keywords: Electrocardiogram, manifold learning, Laplacian Eigenmaps, running pattern.

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131 The Effects of a Circuit Training Program on Muscle Strength, Agility, Anaerobic Performance and Cardiovascular Endurance

Authors: Wirat Sonchan, Pratoom Moungmee, Anek Sootmongkol

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This study aimed to examine the effects of a circuit training program on muscle strength, agility, anaerobic performance and cardiovascular endurance. The study involved 24 freshmen (age 18.87+0.68 yr.) male students of the Faculty of Sport Science, Burapha University. They sample study were randomly divided into two groups: Circuit Training group (CT; n=12) and a Control group (C; n=12). Baseline data on height, weight, muscle strength (hand grip dynamometer and leg strength dynamometer), agility (agility T-Test), and anaerobic performance (Running-based Anaerobic Sprint Test) and cardiovascular endurance (20 m Endurance Shuttle Run Test) were collected. The circuit training program included one circuit of eight stations of 30/60 seconds of work/rest interval with two cycles in Week 1-4, and 60/90 seconds of work/rest interval with three cycles in Week 5-8, performed three times per week. Data were analyzed using paired t-tests and independent sample t-test. Statistically significance level was set at 0.05. The results show that after 8 weeks of a training program, muscle strength, agility, anaerobic capacity and cardiovascular endurance increased significantly in the CT Group (p < 0.05), while significant increase was not observed in the C Group (p < 0.05). The results of this study suggest that the circuit training program improved muscle strength, agility, anaerobic capacity and cardiovascular endurance of the study subjects. This program may be used as a guideline for selecting a set of exercise to improve physical fitness.

Keywords: Cardiovascular endurance, circuit training, physical fitness, anaerobic performance.

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130 The Effect of Physical Exercise to Level of Nuclear Factor Kappa B on Serum, Macrophages and Myocytes

Authors: Eryati Darwin, Eka Fithra Elfi, Indria Hafizah

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Background: Physical exercise induces a pattern of hormonal and immunological responses that prevent endothelial dysfunction by maintaining the availability of nitric oxide (NO). Regular and moderate exercise stimulates NO release, that can be considered as protective factor of cardiovascular diseases, while strenuous exercise induces increased levels in a number of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) triggers endothelial activation which results in an increased vascular permeability. Nuclear gene factor kappa B (NF-κB) activates biological effect of TNF-α. Aim of Study: To determine the effect of physical exercise on the endothelial and skeletal muscle, we measured the level of NF-κB on rats’ serum, macrophages, and myocytes after strenuous physical exercise. Methods: 30 male Rattus norvegicus in the age of eight weeks were randomly divided into five groups (each containing six), and there were treated groups (T) and control group (C). The treated groups obtain strenuous physical exercise by ran on treadmill at 32 m/minutes for 1 hour or until exhaustion. Blood samples, myocytes of gastrocnemius muscle, and intraperitoneal macrophages were collected sequentially. There were investigated immediately, 2 hours, 6 hours, and 24 hours (T1, T2, T3, and T4) after sacrifice. The levels of NF-κB were measured by ELISA methods. Results: From our study, we found that the levels of NF-κB on myocytes in treated group from which its specimen was taken immediately (T1), 2 hours after treadmill (T2), and 6 hours after treadmill (T3) were significantly higher than control group (p<0.05), while the group from which its specimen was taken 24 hours after treadmill, was no significantly different (p>0.05). Also on macrophages, NF-κB in treated groups T1, T2, and T3 was significantly higher than control group (p<0.05), but there was no difference between T4 and control group (p>0.05). The level of serum NF-κB was not significantly different between treatment group as well as compared to control group (p>0.05). Serum NF-κB was significantly higher than the level on macrophages and myocytes (p<0.05). Conclusion: This study demonstrated that strenuous physical exercise stimulates the activation of NF-κB that plays a role in vascular inflammation and muscular damage, and may be recovered after resting period.

Keywords: Endothelial function, inflammation, NF-κB, physical exercise.

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129 sEMG Interface Design for Locomotion Identification

Authors: Rohit Gupta, Ravinder Agarwal

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Surface electromyographic (sEMG) signal has the potential to identify the human activities and intention. This potential is further exploited to control the artificial limbs using the sEMG signal from residual limbs of amputees. The paper deals with the development of multichannel cost efficient sEMG signal interface for research application, along with evaluation of proposed class dependent statistical approach of the feature selection method. The sEMG signal acquisition interface was developed using ADS1298 of Texas Instruments, which is a front-end interface integrated circuit for ECG application. Further, the sEMG signal is recorded from two lower limb muscles for three locomotions namely: Plane Walk (PW), Stair Ascending (SA), Stair Descending (SD). A class dependent statistical approach is proposed for feature selection and also its performance is compared with 12 preexisting feature vectors. To make the study more extensive, performance of five different types of classifiers are compared. The outcome of the current piece of work proves the suitability of the proposed feature selection algorithm for locomotion recognition, as compared to other existing feature vectors. The SVM Classifier is found as the outperformed classifier among compared classifiers with an average recognition accuracy of 97.40%. Feature vector selection emerges as the most dominant factor affecting the classification performance as it holds 51.51% of the total variance in classification accuracy. The results demonstrate the potentials of the developed sEMG signal acquisition interface along with the proposed feature selection algorithm.

Keywords: Classifiers, feature selection, locomotion, sEMG.

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128 MiR-200a/ZEB1 Pathway in Liver Fibrogenesis of Biliary Atresia

Authors: Hai-Ying Liu, Yi-Hao Chen, Shu-Yin Pang, Feng-Hua Wang, Xiao-Fang Peng, Li-Yuan Yang, Zheng-Rong Chen, Yi Chen, Bing Zhu

Abstract:

Objective: Biliary atresia (BA) is characterized by progressive liver fibrosis. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been implicated as a key mechanism in the pathogenesis of organ fibrosis. MiR-200a has been shown to repress EMT. We aim to explore the role of miR-200a in the fibrogenesis of BA. Methods: We obtained the plasma samples and liver samples from patients with BA or controls to examine the role of miR-200a. Histological liver fibrosis was assessed using the Ishak fibrosis scores. Reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was performed to detect the expression of miR-200a in plasma. We also evaluated the expression of miR-200a in liver tissues using tyramide signal amplification fluorescence in situ hybridization (TSA-FISH). The expression of EMT related proteins zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1), E-cadherin and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) in the liver sections were detected by immunohistochemical staining. Results: We found that the expression of miR-200a was both elevated in the plasma and liver tissues from BA patients compared with the controls. The hepatic expression of ZEB1 and α-SMA were markedly increased in the liver sections from BA patients compared to the controls, whereas E-cadherin was downregulated in the BA group. Simultaneously, we noted that the hepatic expression of miR-200a, E-cadherin and α-SMA were upregulated with the progression of liver fibrosis in the BA group, while ZEB1 was downregulated with the progression of liver fibrosis in BA patients. Conclusion: These findings suggest EMT has a critical effect on the fibrotic process of BA, and the interaction between miR-200a and ZEB1 may regulate EMT and eventually influence liver fibrogenesis of BA.

Keywords: Biliary atresia, liver fibrosis, MicroRNA, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, zinc finger e-box-binding homeobox 1.

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127 The Effect of Impact on the Knee Joint Due to the Shocks during Double Impact Phase of Gait Cycle

Authors: Jobin Varghese, V. M. Akhil, P. K. Rajendrakumar, K. S. Sivanandan

Abstract:

The major contributor to the human locomotion is the knee flexion and extension. During heel strike, a huge amount of energy is transmitted through the leg towards knee joint, which in fact is damped at heel and leg muscles. During high shocks, although it is damped to a certain extent, the balance force transmits towards knee joint which could damage the knee. Due to the vital function of the knee joint, it should be protected against damage due to additional load acting on it. This work concentrates on the development of spring mass damper system which exactly replicates the stiffness at the heel and muscles and the objective function is optimized to minimize the force acting at the knee joint. Further, the data collected using force plate are put into the model to verify its integrity and are found to be in good agreement.

Keywords: Spring, mass, damper, impact, knee joint.

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126 The Contribution of the PCR-Enzymatic Digestion in the Positive Diagnosis of Proximal Spinal Muscular Atrophy in the Moroccan Population

Authors: H. Merhni, A. Sbiti, I. Ratbi, A. Sefiani

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The proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a group of neuromuscular disorders characterized by progressive muscle weakness due to the degeneration and loss of anterior motor neurons of the spinal cord. Depending on the age of onset of symptoms and their evolution, four types of SMA, varying in severity, result in a mutations of the SMN gene (survival of Motor neuron). We have analyzed the DNA of 295 patients referred to our genetic counseling; since January 1996 until October 2014; for suspected SMA. The homozygous deletion of exon 7 of the SMN gene was found in 133 patients; of which, 40.6% were born to consanguineous parents. In countries like Morocco, where the frequency of heterozygotes for SMA is high, genetic testing should be offered as first-line and, after careful clinical assessment, especially in newborns and infants with congenital hypotonia unexplained and prognosis compromise. The molecular diagnosis of SMA allows a quick and certainly diagnosis, provide adequate genetic counseling for families at risk and suggest, for couples who want prenatal diagnosis. The analysis of the SMN gene is a perfect example of genetic testing with an excellent cost/benefit ratio that can be of great interest in public health, especially in low-income countries. We emphasize in this work for the benefit of the generalization of molecular diagnosis of SMA by the technique of PCR-enzymatic digestion in other centers in Morocco.

Keywords: Exon7, PCR-digestion, SMA, SMN gene.

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125 Mercury and Selenium Levels in Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) Fished in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Seychelles

Authors: Stephanie Hollanda, Nathalie Bodin, Carine Churlaud, Paco Bustamante

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Total mercury (Hg), selenium (Se) and Hg-Se ratios were analyzed in the white muscle, liver and gonads of swordfish, in order to compare concentration between the different tissues and sex, and also the effect of size (fork length). The results show significant difference between tissue types, with the liver having the highest concentration of both Hg and Se. Positive significant correlations between moles of Hg and Se were obtained in the liver and white muscle, but no relationship was obtained in the gonads. No difference in the concentration of Hg and Se was obtained between the sexes in the tissue types, except for Hg in the gonads, which were found to be higher in males. Significant negative relationships were obtained when the Hg-Se ratio was plotted against fork length in all three tissue types.

Keywords: Bioaccumulation, large pelagic fish, mercury, selenium, Western Indian Ocean.

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124 Bronchospasm Analysis Following the Implementation of a Program of Maximum Aerobic Exercise in Active Men

Authors: Sajjad Shojaeidoust, Mohsen Ghanbarzadeh, Abdolhamid Habibi

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Exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) is a transitory condition of airflow obstruction that is associated with physical activities. It is noted that high ventilation can lead to an increase in the heat and reduce in the moisture in airways resistance of trachea. Also causes of pathophysiological mechanism are EIB. Accordingly, studying some parameters of pulmonary function (FVC, FEV1) among active people seems quintessential. The aim of this study was to analyze bronchospasm following the implementation of a program of maximum aerobic exercise in active men at Chamran University of Ahwaz. Method: In this quasi-experimental study, the population consisted of all students at Chamran University. Among from 55 participants, of which, 15 were randomly selected as the experimental group. In this study, the size of the maximum oxygen consumption was initially measured, and then, based on the maximum oxygen consumed, the active individuals were identified. After five minutes’ warm-up, Strand treadmill exercise test was taken (one session) and pulmonary parameters were measured at both pre- and post-tests (spirometer). After data normalization using KS and non-normality of the data, the Wilcoxon test was used to analyze the data. The significance level for all statistical surveys was considered p≤0/05. Results: The results showed that the ventilation factors and bronchospasm (FVC, FEV1) in the pre-test and post-test resulted in no significant difference among the active people (p≥0/05). Discussion and conclusion: Based on the results observed in this study, it appears that pulmonary indices in active individuals increased after aerobic test. The increase in this indicator in active people is due to increased volume and elasticity of the lungs as well. In other words, pulmonary index is affected by rib muscles. It is considered that progress over respiratory muscle strength and endurance has raised FEV1 in the active cases.

Keywords: Bronchospasm, aerobic active maximum, pulmonary function, spirometer.

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123 Analysis of Stress and Strain in Head Based Control of Cooperative Robots through Tetraplegics

Authors: Jochen Nelles, Susanne Kohns, Julia Spies, Friederike Schmitz-Buhl, Roland Thietje, Christopher Brandl, Alexander Mertens, Christopher M. Schlick

Abstract:

Industrial robots as part of highly automated manufacturing are recently developed to cooperative (light-weight) robots. This offers the opportunity of using them as assistance robots and to improve the participation in professional life of disabled or handicapped people such as tetraplegics. Robots under development are located within a cooperation area together with the working person at the same workplace. This cooperation area is an area where the robot and the working person can perform tasks at the same time. Thus, working people and robots are operating in the immediate proximity. Considering the physical restrictions and the limited mobility of tetraplegics, a hands-free robot control could be an appropriate approach for a cooperative assistance robot. To meet these requirements, the research project MeRoSy (human-robot synergy) develops methods for cooperative assistance robots based on the measurement of head movements of the working person. One research objective is to improve the participation in professional life of people with disabilities and, in particular, mobility impaired persons (e.g. wheelchair users or tetraplegics), whose participation in a self-determined working life is denied. This raises the research question, how a human-robot cooperation workplace can be designed for hands-free robot control. Here, the example of a library scenario is demonstrated. In this paper, an empirical study that focuses on the impact of head movement related stress is presented. 12 test subjects with tetraplegia participated in the study. Tetraplegia also known as quadriplegia is the worst type of spinal cord injury. In the experiment, three various basic head movements were examined. Data of the head posture were collected by a motion capture system; muscle activity was measured via surface electromyography and the subjective mental stress was assessed via a mental effort questionnaire. The muscle activity was measured for the sternocleidomastoid (SCM), the upper trapezius (UT) or trapezius pars descendens, and the splenius capitis (SPL) muscle. For this purpose, six non-invasive surface electromyography sensors were mounted on the head and neck area. An analysis of variance shows differentiated muscular strains depending on the type of head movement. Systematically investigating the influence of different basic head movements on the resulting strain is an important issue to relate the research results to other scenarios. At the end of this paper, a conclusion will be drawn and an outlook of future work will be presented.

Keywords: Assistance robot, human-robot-interaction, motion capture, stress-strain-concept, surface electromyography, tetraplegia.

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122 Effect of Aging on the Second Law Efficiency, Exergy Destruction and Entropy Generation in the Skeletal Muscles during Exercise

Authors: Jale Çatak, Bayram Yılmaz, Mustafa Ozilgen

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The second law muscle work efficiency is obtained by multiplying the metabolic and mechanical work efficiencies. Thermodynamic analyses are carried out with 19 sets of arms and legs exercise data which were obtained from the healthy young people. These data are used to simulate the changes occurring during aging. The muscle work efficiency decreases with aging as a result of the reduction of the metabolic energy generation in the mitochondria. The reduction of the mitochondrial energy efficiency makes it difficult to carry out the maintenance of the muscle tissue, which in turn causes a decline of the muscle work efficiency. When the muscle attempts to produce more work, entropy generation and exergy destruction increase. Increasing exergy destruction may be regarded as the result of the deterioration of the muscles. When the exergetic efficiency is 0.42, exergy destruction becomes 1.49 folds of the work performance. This proportionality becomes 2.50 and 5.21 folds when the exergetic efficiency decreases to 0.30 and 0.17 respectively.

Keywords: Aging mitochondria, entropy generation, exergy destruction, muscle work performance, second law efficiency.

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121 Influence of Chelators, Zn Sulphate and Silicic Acid on Productivity and Meat Quality of Fattening Pigs

Authors: A. Raceviciute-Stupeliene, V. Sasyte, V. Viliene, V. Slausgalvis, J. Al-Saifi, R. Gruzauskas

Abstract:

The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of special additives such as chelators, zinc sulphate and silicic acid on productivity parameters, carcass characteristics and meat quality of fattening pigs. The test started with 40 days old fattening pigs (mongrel (mother) and Yorkshire (father)) and lasted up to 156 days of age. During the fattening period, 32 pigs were divided into 2 groups (control and experimental) with 4 replicates (total of 8 pens).  The pigs were fed for 16 weeks’ ad libitum with a standard wheat-barley-soybean meal compound (Control group) supplemented with chelators, zinc sulphate and silicic acid (dosage 2 kg/t of feed, Experimental group). Meat traits in live pigs were measured by ultrasonic equipment Piglog 105. The results obtained throughout the experimental period suggest that supplementation of chelators, zinc sulphate and silicic acid tend to positively affect average daily gain and feed conversion ratio of pigs for fattening (p < 0.05). Pigs’ evaluation with Piglog 105 showed that thickness of fat in the first and second point was by 4% and 3% respectively higher in comparison to the control group (p < 0.05). Carcass weight, yield, and length, also thickness of fat showed no significant difference among the groups. The water holding capacity of meat in Experimental group was lower by 5.28%, and tenderness – lower by 12% compared with that of the pigs in the Control group (p < 0.05). Regarding pigs’ meat chemical composition of the experimental group, a statistically significant difference comparing with the data of the control group was not determined. Cholesterol concentration in muscles of pigs fed diets supplemented with chelators, zinc sulphate and silicic acid was lower by 7.93 mg/100 g of muscle in comparison to that of the control group. These results suggest that supplementation of chelators, zinc sulphate and silicic acid in the feed for fattening pigs had significant effect on pigs growing performance and meat quality.

Keywords: Chelators, meat quality, pigs, silicic acid, zinc sulphate.

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120 Effect of the Polymer Modification on the Cytocompatibility of Human and Rat Cells

Authors: N. Slepickova Kasalkova, P. Slepicka, L. Bacakova, V. Svorcik

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Tissue engineering includes combination of materials and techniques used for the improvement, repair or replacement of the tissue. Scaffolds, permanent or temporally material, are used as support for the creation of the "new cell structures". For this important component (scaffold), a variety of materials can be used. The advantage of some polymeric materials is their cytocompatibility and possibility of biodegradation. Poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) is a biodegradable,  semi-crystalline thermoplastic polymer. PLLA can be fully degraded into H2O and CO2. In this experiment, the effect of the surface modification of biodegradable polymer (performed by plasma treatment) on the various cell types was studied. The surface parameters and changes of the physicochemical properties of modified PLLA substrates were studied by different methods. Surface wettability was determined by goniometry, surface morphology and roughness study were performed with atomic force microscopy and chemical composition was determined using photoelectron spectroscopy. The physicochemical properties were studied in relation to cytocompatibility of human osteoblast (MG 63 cells), rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), and human stem cells (ASC) of the adipose tissue in vitro. A fluorescence microscopy was chosen to study and compare cell-material interaction. Important parameters of the cytocompatibility like adhesion, proliferation, viability, shape, spreading of the cells were evaluated. It was found that the modification leads to the change of the surface wettability depending on the time of modification. Short time of exposition (10-120 s) can reduce the wettability of the aged samples, exposition longer than 150 s causes to increase of contact angle of the aged PLLA. The surface morphology is significantly influenced by duration of modification, too. The plasma treatment involves the formation of the crystallites, whose number increases with increasing time of modification. On the basis of physicochemical properties evaluation, the cells were cultivated on the selected samples. Cell-material interactions are strongly affected by material chemical structure and surface morphology. It was proved that the plasma treatment of PLLA has a positive effect on the adhesion, spreading, homogeneity of distribution and viability of all cultivated cells. This effect was even more apparent for the VSMCs and ASCs which homogeneously covered almost the whole surface of the substrate after 7 days of cultivation. The viability of these cells was high (more than 98% for VSMCs, 89-96% for ASCs). This experiment is one part of the basic research, which aims to easily create scaffolds for tissue engineering with subsequent use of stem cells and their subsequent "reorientation" towards the bone cells or smooth muscle cells.

Keywords: Poly(L-lactic acid), plasma treatment, surface characterization, cytocompatibility, human osteoblasts, rat vascular smooth muscle cells, human stem cells.

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119 Feature Extractions of EMG Signals during a Constant Workload Pedaling Exercise

Authors: Bing-Wen Chen, Alvin W. Y. Su, Yu-Lin Wang

Abstract:

Electromyography (EMG) is one of the important indicators during exercise, as it is closely related to the level of muscle activations. This work quantifies the muscle conditions of the lower limbs in a constant workload exercise. Surface EMG signals of the vastus laterals (VL), vastus medialis (VM), rectus femoris (RF), gastrocnemius medianus (GM), gastrocnemius lateral (GL) and Soleus (SOL) were recorded from fourteen healthy males. The EMG signals were segmented in two phases: activation segment (AS) and relaxation segment (RS). Period entropy (PE), peak count (PC), zero crossing (ZC), wave length (WL), mean power frequency (MPF), median frequency (MDF) and root mean square (RMS) are calculated to provide the quantitative information of the measured EMG segments. The outcomes reveal that the PE, PC, ZC and RMS have significantly changed (p<.001); WL presents moderately changed (p<.01); MPF and MDF show no changed (p>.05) during exercise. The results also suggest that the RS is also preferred for performance evaluation, while the results of the extracted features in AS are usually affected directly by the amplitudes. It is further found that the VL exhibits the most significant changes within six muscles during pedaling exercise. The proposed work could be applied to quantify the stamina analysis and to predict the instant muscle status in athletes.

Keywords: EMG, feature extraction, muscle status, pedaling exercise, relaxation segment.

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118 Snails and Fish as Pollution Biomarkers in Lake Manzala and Laboratory C: Laboratory Exposed Snails to Chemical Mixtures

Authors: Hanaa M. M. El-Khayat, Hoda Abdel-Hamid, Kadria M. A. Mahmoud, Hanan S. Gaber, Hoda, M. A. Abu Taleb, Hassan E. Flefel

Abstract:

Snails are considered as suitable diagnostic organisms for heavy metal–contaminated sites. Biomphalaria alexandrina snails are used in this work as pollution bioindicators after exposure to chemical mixtures consisted of heavy metals (HM); zinc (Zn), copper (Cu) and lead (Pb); and persistent organic pollutants; Decabromodiphenyl ether 98% (D) and Aroclor 1254 (A). The impacts of these tested chemicals, individual and mixtures, on liver and kidney functions, antioxidant enzymes, complete blood picture, and tissue histology were studied. Results showed that Cu was proved to be the highly toxic against snails than Zn and Pb where LC50 values were 1.362, 213.198 and 277.396 ppm, respectively. Also, B. alexandrina snails exposed to the mixture of HM (¼ LC5 Cu, Pb and Zn) showed the highest bioaccumulation of Cu and Zn in their whole tissue, the most significant increase in AST, ALT & ALP activities and the highest significant levels of total protein, albumin and globulin. Results showed significant alterations in CAT activity in snail tissue extracts while snail samples exposed to most experimental tests showed significant increase in GST activity. Snail samples that exposed to HM mixtures showed a significant decrease in total hemocytes count while snail samples that exposed to mixtures containing A & D showed a significant increase in total hemocytes and Hyalinocytes. Histopathological alterations in snail samples exposed to individual HM and their mixtures for 4 weeks showed degeneration, edema, hyper trophy and vaculation in head-foot muscle, degeneration and necrotic changes in the digestive gland and accumulation in most tested organs. Also, the hermaphrodite gland showed mature ova with irregular shape and reduction in sperm number. In conclusion, the resulted damage and alterations in B. alexandrina studied parameters can be used as bioindicators to the presence of pollutants in its habitats.

Keywords: Biomphalaria, Zn, Cu, Pb, AST, ALT, ALP, total protein albumin, globulin, CAT and Histopathology.

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117 Study Concerning the Energy-to-Mass Ratio in Pneumatic Muscles

Authors: Tudor Deaconescu, Andrea Deaconescu

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The utilization of pneumatic muscles in the actuation of industrial systems is still in its early stages, hence studies on the constructive solutions which include an assessment of their functional performance with a focus on one of the most important characteristics-energy efficiency are required. A quality indicator that adequately reflects the energy efficiency of an actuator is the energy-to-mass ratio. This ratio is computed in the paper for various types and sizes of pneumatic muscles manufactured by Festo, and is subsequently compared to the similar ratios determined for two categories of pneumatic cylinders.

Keywords: Pneumatic cylinders, pneumatic muscles, energy-to-mass ratio, muscle stroke.

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116 The Applications of Four Fingers Theory: The Proof of 66 Acupoints under the Human Elbow and Knee

Authors: Chih-I. Tsai, Yu-Chien. Lin

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Through experiences of clinical practices, it is discovered that locations on the body at a level of four fingerbreadth above and below the joints are the points at which muscles connect to tendons, and since the muscles and tendons possess opposite characteristics, muscles are full of blood but lack qi, while tendons are full of qi but lack blood, these points on our body become easily blocked. It is proposed that through doing acupuncture or creating localized pressure to the areas four fingerbreadths above and below our joints, with an elastic bandage, we could help the energy, also known as qi, to flow smoothly in our body and further improve our health. Based on the Four Fingers Theory, we understand that human height is 22 four fingerbreadths. In addition, qi and blood travel through 24 meridians, 50 times each day, and they flow through 6 cun with every human breath. We can also understand the average number of human heartbeats is 75 times per minute. And the function of qi-blood circulation system in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the same as the blood circulation in Western Medical Science. Informed by Four Fingers Theory, this study further examined its applications in acupuncture practices. The research question is how Four Fingers Theory proves what has been mentioned in Nei Jing that there are 66 acupoints under a human’s elbow and knee. In responding to the research question, there are 66 acupoints under a human’s elbow and knee. Four Fingers Theory facilitated the creation of the acupuncture naming and teaching system. It is expected to serve as an approachable and effective way to deliver knowledge of acupuncture to the public worldwide.

Keywords: Four Fingers theory, Meridians circulation, 66 Acupoints under a human’s elbow and knee, acupuncture.

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