From twitch to tetanus for human muscle - experimental data and model predictions for m. triceps surae

J.P. van Zandwijk, M.F. Bobbert, J. Harlaar, A.F. Hof

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    Abstract

    In models describing the excitation of muscle by the central nervous system, it is often assumed that excitation during a tetanic contraction can be obtained by the linear summation of responses to individual stimuli, from which the active state of the muscle is calculated. We investigate here the extent to which such a model describes the excitation of human muscle in vivo. For this purpose, experiments were performed on the calf muscles of four healthy subjects. Values of parameters in the model describing the behaviour of the contractile element (CE) and the series elastic element (SEE) of this muscle group were derived on the basis of a set of isokinetic release contractions performed on a special-purpose dynamometer as well as on the basis of morphological data. Parameter values describing the excitation of the calf muscles were optimized such that the model correctly predicted plantar flexion moment histories in an isometric twitch, elicited by stimulation of the tibial nerve. For all subjects, the model using these muscle parameters was able to make reasonable predictions of isometric moment histories at higher stimulation frequencies. These results suggest that the linear summation of responses to individual stimuli can indeed give an adequate description of the process of human muscle excitation in vivo.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)121-130
    JournalBiological Cybernetics
    Volume79
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1998

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