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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2000 Oct;89(4):1322-32.

A predictive model of fatigue in human skeletal muscles.

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Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, USA.


Fatigue is a major limitation to the clinical application of functional electrical stimulation. The activation pattern used during electrical stimulation affects force and fatigue. Identifying the activation pattern that produces the greatest force and least fatigue for each patient is, therefore, of great importance. Mathematical models that predict muscle forces and fatigue produced by a wide range of stimulation patterns would facilitate the search for optimal patterns. Previously, we developed a mathematical isometric force model that successfully identified the stimulation patterns that produced the greatest forces from healthy subjects under nonfatigue and fatigue conditions. The present study introduces a four-parameter fatigue model, coupled with the force model that predicts the fatigue induced by different stimulation patterns on different days during isometric contractions. This fatigue model accounted for 90% of the variability in forces produced by different fatigue tests. The predicted forces at the end of fatigue testing differed from those observed by only 9%. This model demonstrates the potential for predicting muscle fatigue in response to a wide range of stimulation patterns.

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