Boost startup project 'Muscle Talent Scan' is still going strong!
27th Nov 2020
"We offer athletes, sports professionals and radiologists a fast, painless and non-invasive technique to measure muscle fiber type distribution using MRI scans instead of muscle biopsies.", prof. Wim Derave.
Human muscles are composed of two different types of muscle fibers: fast-twitch fibers can generate bursts of great speed and power, while slow-twitch fibers have great endurance. The distribution of these two muscle types is different for everyone and largely genetically determined. Most of us have an equal mix of these two muscle types.
But some people are born to excel in explosive sports, while others are destined to beat long-distance records, and that talent is mostly pre-determined by their muscle fiber typology. The Muscle Talent Scan is a fast, painless and non-invasive way to find out what your muscles are made of and how you can reach your full potential.
How does the Muscle Talent Scan work?
This method is based on a technique known as proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (¹H-MRS), which makes it possible to accurately quantify the carnosine levels in human muscles. Scientists have already established a significant positive correlation between muscle carnosine levels and percentage area occupied by type II fibers. It was found that compared to a reference population, higher carnosine levels (which means more fast-twitch fibers) are linked to excellence in explosive sports, whereas lower carnosine levels (which means more slow-twitch fibers) are linked to excellence in endurance sports.
Here's what MTS can do for you:
"The pandamic has quite impacted our work. Nevertheless, we're working hard on various aspects of the project, such as:
- optimizing the scanning settings for the various MRI vendors
- testing various elite athletes in athletics, cycling, soccer, etc., so providing them relevant individual feedback & building upon our reference data set
- collecting feedback from endurance sports trainers and high performance managers working in elite sport environments
- improving the content in our individual and team reports
Some academic papers & third party blog articles have been published recently as well, which created some buzz on social media 😝", says Eline Lievens.
Mathieu van der Poel joining the Muscle Talent Scan team for a scan.
How did SportUp Boost help you to take these next steps?
"The Boost program made clear for us that we need to take into account much more than only the research and sports related aspect of the project. The workshops helped with starting & feeding our thinking process when it comes to team formation, finding problem-solution fit, defining go-to-market strategy, etc.", according to Prof. Wim Derave.
What are the plans for the future?
"First of all, we'll start a closer collaboration with some endurance sport trainers in order to better understand how each of them translate our result into practical optimizations of their training plans.
Secondly, we'll better compare the relevance of our findings in relation to field tests, in order to better understand the added value of our methodology.
Finally, we'll continue the discussions with potential entrepreneurs, partners, advisors, etc., in order to prepare well the launch of our spin-off.", says Eline Lievens.