Muscle tissues: An overview Virtual Lab

Explore the distribution and function of the three different muscle tissues found in the human body. Examine them down to the cellular level and dive further into their molecular structures to reveal the fascinating mechanisms behind muscle contractions.

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About the Muscle tissues: An overview Virtual Lab

Did you know that you have more than 600 muscles in your body? Some of these muscles help to express your emotions through gesticulation and facial expressions, while the heart beats more than 3.3 billion times over 80 years! In this simulation, you will take a closer look at the three distinct muscle tissues we find in the human body and what purpose they serve.

Investigate the function of muscle tissues

Your first task is to learn about the different types of muscle tissues found in the human body. Interact with the anatomical 3D holograms to explore the distribution and main functions of skeletal, smooth, and cardiac muscle tissues. Using the control panel to navigate the different models, you will have to collect information about the tissues to solve different scenarios related to the muscular system.

Take a look inside the muscle cells

Continue your investigation by examining the muscle tissues at the cellular level to see how the individual muscle cells of each muscle tissue compare and contrast from one another. Pick up the cellular 3D models and examine the nuclei, myofibrils, mitochondria and more to understand how the intracellular components enable each muscle cell to perform the functions characteristic for that muscle tissue.

Observe how a muscle cell contracts

Follow the pathway that allows a nerve signal initiated in the brain to induce an actual muscle contraction in a skeletal muscle. Dive into the molecular level and see how the myofibrils are arranged in repeating units of sarcomeres. Compare a 3D model of a sarcomere to its electron micrograph and observe the changes that take place during contraction and relaxation. Finally, immerse yourself in the process of the sliding filament theory by interacting with the contractile proteins of a sarcomere.

Will you be able to figure out the molecular mechanisms that underlie muscle contraction?

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Explore the distribution and function of the three different muscle tissues found in the human body. Examine them down to the cellular level and dive further into their molecular structures to reveal the fascinating mechanisms behind muscle contractions.

Techniques in lab
Learning objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to...

  • Broadly describe the major roles of muscle tissue
  • Critically demonstrate how muscle contraction and relaxation is linked to thermoregulation, digestion, circulation and motor function
  • Compare different types of muscle contraction
  • Compare the contributions of different muscle types to body control and function
  • Differentiate smooth, cardiac and skeletal muscle based on their microstructure and relate to organ functions
  • Describe and identify the general organisation and structural components of a skeletal muscle
  • Define the sliding filament theory of skeletal muscle contraction
Simulation features

Length: 50 Minutes
Accessibility mode: Not available
Languages: English (United States)

NGSS

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IB

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AP

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Collaborator(s)
A&P