Evaluation of a Hill based muscle model for the energy cost and efficiency of muscular contraction

J.H.P. Houdijk, M.F. Bobbert, A. de Haan

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    The purpose of this study was to evaluate a Hill-based mathematical model of muscle energetics and to disclose inconsistencies in existing experimental data. For this purpose, we simulated iso-velocity contractions of mouse fast twitch EDL and slow twitch SOL fibers, and we compared the outcome to experimental results. The experimental results were extracted from two studies published in the literature, which were based on the same methodology but yielded different outcomes (B96 and B93). In the model, energy cost was modeled as the sum of heat and work. Parameters used to model heat rate were entirely independent of the experimental data-sets. Parameters describing the mechanical behavior were derived from both experimental studies. The model was found to accurately predict the muscle energetics and mechanical efficiency of data-set B96. The model could not, however, replicate the energetics and efficiency of SOL and EDL that were found in data-set B93. The model overestimated the shortening heat rate of EDL but, surprisingly, also the mechanical work rate for both muscles. This was surprising since mechanical characteristics of the model were derived directly from the experimental data. It was demonstrated that the inconsistencies in data-set B93 must have been due to some unexplained confounding artifact. It was concluded that the presented model of muscle energetics is valid for iso-velocity contractions of mammalian muscle since it accurately predicts experimental results of an independent data-set (B96). In addition, the model appeared to be helpful in revealing inconsistencies in a second data-set (B93). © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)536-43
    JournalJournal of Biomechanics
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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