Tendon Elasticity and Relative Length: Effects on the Hill Two-Component Muscle Model

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics

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Graham E. Caldwell
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The effects of relative tendon/fiber proportion and tendon elasticity on the force output of the Hill muscle model (a contractile component [CC] in series with an elastic element [SEC]) were examined through computer simulation. Three versions of the Hill model were constructed. Model 1 examined the effect of relative tendon/fiber proportion on CC kinematics and kinetics during an isometric twitch, while Model 2 compared the effect of changes in tendon compliance. These models revealed force profile differences related to alterations in CC velocity, although the reasons underlying the variation in CC kinematics were different. The relative tendon/fiber proportion and tendon compliance differences were examined in combination in Model 3. Test simulations revealed response differences among the three model versions, and therefore verified Alexander and Ker's (1990) contention that the morphology of muscle is related to design criteria. It is suggested that the implementation of generalized muscle models to represent specific units of the musculoskeletal system should be done carefully and that the implementation process itself warrants further study.

Graham E. Caldwell is with the Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Exercise Science, Boyden 212, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-1020.

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