Optimal muscle fascicle length and tendon stiffness for maximising gastrocnemius efficiency during human walking and running

Lichtwark, GA and Wilson, AM (2008) Optimal muscle fascicle length and tendon stiffness for maximising gastrocnemius efficiency during human walking and running. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 252 4: 662-673. doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2008.01.018


Author Lichtwark, GA
Wilson, AM
Title Optimal muscle fascicle length and tendon stiffness for maximising gastrocnemius efficiency during human walking and running
Journal name Journal of Theoretical Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-5193
Publication date 2008-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jtbi.2008.01.018
Volume 252
Issue 4
Start page 662
End page 673
Total pages 10
Editor Kirschner , D
Iwasa, Y
Wolpert , L
Place of publication London , U.K.
Publisher Academic Press (Elsevier Inc)
Language eng
Subject 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Abstract Muscles generate force to resist gravitational and inertial forces and/or to undertake work, e.g. on the centre of mass. A trade-off in muscle architecture exists in muscles that do both; the fibres should be as short as possible to minimise activation cost but long enough to maintain an appropriate shortening velocity. Energetic cost is also influenced by tendon compliance which modulates the timecourse of muscle mechanical work. Here we use a Hill-type muscle model of the human medial gastrocnemius to determine the muscle fascicle length and Achilles tendon compliance that maximise efficiency during the stance phase of walking (1.2 m/s) and running (3.2 and 3.9 m/s). A broad range of muscle fascicle lengths (ranging from 45 to 70 mm) and tendon stiffness values (150–500 N/mm) can achieve close to optimal efficiency at each speed of locomotion; however, efficient walking requires shorter muscle fascicles and a more compliant tendon than running. The values that maximise efficiency are within the range measured in normal populations. A non-linear toe-region region of the tendon force–length properties may further influence the optimal values, requiring a stiffer tendon with slightly longer muscle fascicles; however, it does not alter the main results. We conclude that muscle fibre length and tendon compliance combinations may be tuned to maximise efficiency under a given gait condition. Efficiency is maximised when the required volume of muscle is minimised, which may also help reduce limb inertia and basal metabolic costs.
Keyword biomechanics
energetics
elasticity
compliance
locomotion
MYOFASCIAL FORCE TRANSMISSION
HUMAN ACHILLES-TENDON
SKELETAL-MUSCLE
MECHANICAL-PROPERTIES
HISTORY DEPENDENCE
CONTRACTION
LOCOMOTION
MODEL
BIOMECHANICS
MOVEMENTS
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 56 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 57 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 15 Jun 2010, 12:01:37 EST