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J Biomech. 2006;39(8):1383-91. Epub 2005 Jun 21.

Rectus femoris and vastus intermedius fiber excursions predicted by three-dimensional muscle models.

Author information

1
Departments of Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering, James H. Clark Center, Room S-321, Stanford University, MailCode: 5450, 318 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305-5450, USA.

Abstract

Computer models of the musculoskeletal system frequently represent the force-length behavior of muscle with a lumped-parameter model. Lumped-parameter models use simple geometric shapes to characterize the arrangement of muscle fibers and tendon; this may inaccurately represent changes in fiber length and the resulting force-length behavior, especially for muscles with complex architecture. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which the complex features of the rectus femoris and vastus intermedius architectures affect the fiber changes in length ("fiber excursions"). We created three-dimensional finite-element models of the rectus femoris and vastus intermedius muscles based on magnetic resonance (MR) images, and compared the fiber excursions predicted by the finite-element models with fiber excursions predicted by lumped-parameter models of these muscles. The finite-element models predicted rectus femoris fiber excursions (over a 100 degrees range of knee flexion) that varied from 55% to 70% of the excursion of the muscle-tendon unit and vastus intermedius fiber excursions that varied from 55% to 98% of the excursion muscle-tendon unit. In contrast, the lumped-parameter model of the rectus femoris predicted fiber excursions that were 86% of the excursion of the muscle-tendon unit and vastus intermedius fiber excursions that were 97% of the excursion of the muscle-tendon unit. These results suggest that fiber excursions of many fibers are overestimated in lumped-parameter models of these muscles. These new representations of muscle architecture can improve the accuracy of computer simulations of movement and provide insight into muscle design.

PMID:
15972213
DOI:
10.1016/j.jbiomech.2005.04.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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