Passive mechanical properties of human gastrocnemius muscle-tendon units

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Passive mechanical properties of human gastrocnemius muscle-tendon units

Authors
Publisher
BioMed Central
Volume
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/1757-1146-5-s1-i3
Keywords
  • Introduction

Abstract

Passive mechanical properties of human gastrocnemius muscle-tendon units INTRODUCTION Open Access Passive mechanical properties of human gastrocnemius muscle-tendon units Robert D Herbert*, Joanna Diong From 3rd Congress of the International Foot and Ankle Biomechanics Community Sydney, Australia. 11-13 March 2012 Background The passive mechanical properties of skeletal muscle- tendon units are important because they determine the amount of motion available at joints. Human gastrocne- mius muscle-tendon units are of particular interest because this muscle is prone to develop contractures, may have a role in lower limb overuse injuries, and is a common site of muscle tears. This workshop provides an introduction to what is known of the passive properties of skeletal muscle-tendon units, focussing on human gastrocnemius muscle-tendon units. The workshop will also provide an introduction to the theory and practice of measuring passive mechanical properties of human gastrocnemius muscle-tendon units in vivo. Materials and methods The mechanical properties of muscle-tendon units have been investigated most frequently using in vitro prepara- tions. Testing of elastic properties most often utilises quasi-static protocols. Dynamic protocols have also been used, particularly in studies that seek also to determine viscous properties. Several methods have been developed for testing the mechanical properties (usually elastic or pseudo-elastic properties) of human muscle-tendon units in vivo. Changes in length of human gastrocnemius muscle-ten- don units may be estimated from changes in ankle and knee angles if moment arms are known. Fascicle lengths can be measured with ultrasound imaging or MRI. Recently methods have been developed for measuring sarcomere lengths using invasive and minimally invasive techniques. Achilles tendon force can be measured using invasive methods such as fibre optic transducers. The length-tension properties of the Achilles tendon can be estimated using non

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