A validated model of passive skeletal muscle to predict force and intramuscular pressure

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


The passive properties of skeletal muscle are often overlooked in muscle studies, yet they play a key role in tissue function in vivo. Studies analyzing and modeling muscle passive properties, while not uncommon, have never investigated the role of fluid content within the tissue. Additionally, intramuscular pressure (IMP) has been shown to correlate with muscle force in vivo and could be used to predict muscle force in the clinic. In this study, a novel model of skeletal muscle was developed and validated to predict both muscle stress and IMP under passive conditions for the New Zealand White Rabbit tibialis anterior. This model is the first to include fluid content within the tissue and uses whole muscle geometry. A nonlinear optimization scheme was highly effective at fitting model stress output to experimental stress data (normalized mean square error or NMSE fit value of 0.993) and validation showed very good agreement to experimental data (NMSE fit values of 0.955 and 0.860 for IMP and stress, respectively). While future work to include muscle activation would broaden the physiological application of this model, the passive implementation could be used to guide surgeries where passive muscle is stretched.

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Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology