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Details for Professor Kuda Ranatunga

Personal details
Name Professor Kuda Ranatunga
Job title Emeritus Professor
Department School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience University of Bristol
Contact details This expert can be contacted via the University of Bristol Public Relations Office.

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work+44 (0)117 331 8092
email:
Qualifications BSc(SLanka), PhD(Bristol)
Professional details
Membership of professional bodies Honorary retired member of)
The Physiological society
The Biophysical society
Keywords muscle contraction
cyclical interaction of myosin motors
muscle visco-elasticity
Shortening and lengthening muscle
temperature effects on muscle
Areas of expertise Our research is aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms of muscle contraction through experimental work and modelling. Muscle contraction results from cyclical interaction of myosin motors in thick filaments with actin filaments within sarcomeres and is temperature-sensitive.

When operating as a motor, muscles convert chemical energy of ATP hydrolysis into mechanical work, thus generating the power required for our day-to-day activities; when cold, muscles also act as heat-generators ("shivering") in order to raise body temperature – indeed our work has shown that the power output in muscle is drastically reduced in cooling.

Another basic function of muscle is to operate as a “brake” and store energy, for example when an active muscle is lengthened by heavy external load or during eccentric exercise.

Using temperature perturbation as a technique, we have examined force during shortening and lengthening of active muscle and they provide some insight into muscle performance in our body.
Languages (other than English)
Sinhalese spoken    written