A Hill type model of rat medial gastrocnemius muscle that accounts for shortening history effects

K. Meijer, H.J. Grootenboer, H.F.J.M. Koopman, B.J.J.J. Linden, P.A.J.B.M. Huijing

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    The aim of the present study was to develop a Hill type muscle model that accounts for the effects of shortening history. For this purpose, a function was derived that relates force depression to starting length, shortening amplitude and contraction velocity. History parameters were determined from short-range isokinetic experiments on rat medial gastrocnemius muscle (GM). Simulations of isokinetic as well as isotonic experiments were performed with the new model and a standard Hill type model. The simulation results were compared with experimental results of rat GM to evaluate if incorporation of history effects leads to improvements in model predictions. In agreement with the experimental results, the new model qualitatively described force reduction during and after isokinetic shortening as well as the experimental observation that isometric endpoints of isotonic contractions are attained at higher muscle lengths than is expected from the fully isometric length-force curve. Consequently, the new model gave a better quantitative prediction of the experimental results compared to the standard model. It was concluded that incorporation of history effects can improve the predictive power of a Hill type model considerably. The applicability of the model to conditions other than those described in the present paper is discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)555-564
    JournalJournal of Biomechanics
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


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