Muscle Talent Scan

Non-invasive muscle fiber typing

The project

Using NMR spectroscopy scans (carnosine levels), the ratio between fast and slow muscle fibers in the athlete’s body can be accurately estimated. Comparing these results with a large collection of data from both athletes and the general population can reveal a genetic endowment for endurance or sprinting activities. This can be relevant in talent identification, training optimization (recuperation time) and muscle injury risk.

Background

Human skeletal muscles are composed of a mixture of fast and slow fibers. Born sprinters have predominantly fast fibers, endurance athletes have relatively more slow fibers. This fiber type distribution is a crucial factor in various sport disciplines. However, it is rarely measured because it used to require an invasive, painful and complicated muscle biopsy and analysis.

Advantages

Non-invasive, quick and painless: An NMR scan takes about 20 minutes and is fully painless with no radiation exposure.

Essential information: Insight in slow or fast typology optimizes sport scientific guidance of athletes.

Testing at rest: No day-to-day variation due to fatigue. No risk of injury during testing.

Goals

Worldwide availability: Finding a way to bring this scanning technique and data interpretation to clubs, hospitals, training centers,…

Exploring new applications: Extend the current reference database and find new sport medical applications.

Set up a business model: Find a way to finance development, implementation and marketing costs.

Infographic

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Senior Researcher
Prof. Dr. Wim Derave

Contact us for more information about this project

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