Adjustment of Muscle Mechanics Model Parameters to Simulate Dynamic Contractions in Older Adults

[+] Author and Article Information
Darryl G. Thelen

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706-1572

J Biomech Eng 125(1), 70-77 (Feb 14, 2003) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1531112 History: Received September 01, 2000; Revised July 01, 2002; Online February 14, 2003
Copyright © 2003 by ASME
Topics: Force , Muscle , Tendons , Torque
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Aoyagi,  Y., and Shephard,  R. J., 1992, “Aging and Muscle Function,” Sports Med., 14, pp. 376–396.
Doherty,  T. J., Vandervoort,  A. A., and Brown,  W. F., 1993, “Effects of Ageing on the Motor Unit: A Brief Review,” Can. J. Appl. Physiol., 18, pp. 331–358.
Brooks,  S. V., and Faulkner,  J. A., 1994, “Skeletal Muscle Weakness in Old Age: Underlying Mechanisms,” Med. Sci. Sports Exercise, 26, pp. 432–439.
Vandervoort,  A. A., and McComas,  A. J., 1986, “Contractile Changes in Opposing Muscles of the Human Ankle Joint with Aging,” J. Appl. Physiol., 61, pp. 361–367.
Vandervoort,  A. A., Chesworth,  B. M., Cunningham,  D. A., Paterson,  D. H., Rechnitzer,  P. A., and Koval,  J. J., 1992, “Age and Sex Effects on Mobility of the Human Ankle,” J Gerontol Med Sci, 47, pp. M17–21.
Gajdosik,  R. L., Vander Linden,  D. W., and Williams,  A. K., 1996, “Influence of Age on Concentric Isokinetic Torque and Passive Extensibility Variables of the Calf Muscles of Women,” Eur. J. Appl. Physiol., , 74, pp. 279–286.
Thelen,  D. G., Schultz,  A. B., Alexander,  N. B., and Ashton-Miller,  J. A., 1996, “Effects of Age on Rapid Ankle Torque Development,” J Gerontol Med Sci, 51A, pp. M226–232.
Porter,  M. M., Vandervoort,  A. A., and Kramer,  J. F., 1997, “Eccentric Peak Torque of the Plantar and Dorsiflexors is Maintained in Older Women,” J Gerontol Bio Sci, 52A, pp. B125–B131.
Lexell,  J., Henriksson-Larsén,  K., Winblad,  B., and Sjöström,  M., 1983, “Distribution of Different Fiber Types in Human Skeletal Muscles: Effects of Aging Studied in Whole Muscle Cross-sections,” Muscle Nerve, 6, pp. 588–595.
Lexell,  J., 1993, “Ageing and Human Muscle: Observations from Sweden,” Can. J. Appl. Physiol., 18, pp. 19–30.
Cartee,  G. D., 1995, “What Insights into Age-Related Changes in Skeletal Muscles are Provided by Animal Models?” J. Gerontol., Ser. A, , 50A, pp. 137–141.
Larsson,  L., Li,  X., and Frontera,  W. R., 1997, “Effects of Aging on Shortening Velocity and Myosin Isoform Composition in Single Human Skeletal Muscle Cells,” Am. J. Physiol., 272, pp. C638–649.
Winter,  D. A., Patla,  A. E., Frank,  J. S., and Walt,  S. E., 1990, “Biomechanical Walking Pattern Changes in the Fit and Healthy Elderly,” Phys. Ther., , 70, pp. 340–347.
Kerrigan,  D. C., Todd,  M. K., Della Croce,  U., Lipsitz,  L. A., and Collins,  J. J., 1998, “Biomechanical Gait Alterations Independent of Speed in the Healthy Elderly: Evidence for Specific Limiting Impairments,” Arch. Phys. Med. Rehabil., 79, pp. 317–322.
Schultz,  A. B., Ashton-Miller,  J. A., and Alexander,  N. B., 1997, “What Leads to Age and Gender Differences in Balance Maintenance and Recovery,” Muscle Nerve Suppl., 5, pp. S60–64.
Raasch,  C. C., Zajac,  F. E., Ma,  B., and Levine,  W. S., 1997, “Muscle Coordination of Maximum-Speed Pedaling,” J. Biomech., 30, pp. 595–602.
Anderson,  F. C., and Pandy,  M. G., 2001, “Dynamic Optimization of Human Walking,” J. Biomech. Eng., 123, pp. 381–390.
Zajac,  F. E., 1989, “Muscle and Tendon: Properties, Models, Scaling and Application to Biomechanics and Motor Control,” Crit. Rev. Biomed. Eng., 17, pp. 359–411.
Winters,  J. M., 1995, “An Improved Muscle-Reflex Actuator for Use in Large-Scale Neuromusculoskeletal Models,” Ann. Biomed. Eng., 23, pp. 359–374.
Brown,  M., and Hasser,  E. M., 1996, “Complexity of Age-Related Changes in Skeletal Muscle,” J Gerontol: Biol Sci, 51A, pp. B117–B123.
Young,  A., Stokes,  M., and Crowe,  M., 1984, “Size and Strength of the Quadriceps Muscles of Old and Young Women,” Eur. J. Clin. Invest., , 14, pp. 282–287.
Frontera,  W. R., Hughes,  V. A., Lutz,  K. J., and Evans,  W. J., 1991, “A Cross-Sectional Study of Muscle Strength and Mass in 45- to 78-yr-Old Men and Women,” J. Appl. Physiol., 71, pp. 644–650.
Xiaopeng,  L., and Larsson,  L., 1996, “Maximum Shortening Velocity and Myosin Isoforms in Single Muscle Fibers from Young and Old Rats,” Am. J. Physiol., 270, pp. C352–C360.
Thompson,  L. V., and Brown,  M., 1999, “Age-Related Changes in Contractile Properties of Single Skeletal Fibers from the Soleus Muscle,” J. Appl. Physiol., 86, pp. 881–986.
Larsson,  L., Grimby,  G., and Karlsson,  J., 1979, “Muscle Strength and Speed of Movement in Relation to Age and Muscle Morphology,” J. Appl. Physiol., 46, pp. 451–456.
Fitts,  R. H., Troup,  J. P., Witzmann,  F. A., and Holloszy,  J. O., 1984, “The Effect of Ageing and Exercise on Skeletal Muscle Function,” Mech. Ageing Dev., 27, pp. 161–72.
Brooks,  S. V., and Faulkner,  J. A., 1988, “Contractile Properties of Skeletal Muscles from Young, Adult and Aged Aice,” J Physiol, 404, pp. 71–82.
Phillips,  S. K., Bruce,  S. A., and Woledge,  R. C., 1991, “In Mice, the Muscle Weakness due to Age is Absent During Stretching,” J Physiol, 437, pp. 63–70.
Brooks,  S. V., and Faulkner,  J. A., 1994, “Isometric, Shortening and Lengthening Contractions of Muscle Fiber Segments from Adult and Old Mice,” Am. J. Physiol., 267, pp. C507–C513.
Vandervoort,  A. A., Kramer,  J. F., and Wharram,  E. R., 1990, “Eccentric Knee Strength of Elderly Females,” J Gerontol Biol Sci, 45, pp. B125–B128.
Hortobagyi,  T., Zheng,  D., Weidner,  M., Lambert,  N. J., Westbrook,  S., and Houmard,  J. A., 1995, “The Influence of Aging on Muscle Strength and Muscle Fiber Characteristics with Special Reference to Eccentric Strength,” J Gerontol Biol Sci, 50A, pp. B399–406.
Brown,  M., Fisher,  J. S., and Salsich,  G., 1999, “Stiffness and Muscle Function with Age and Reduced Muscle Use,” J. Orthop. Res., 17, pp. 409–414.
Alnaqeeb,  M. A., Al Zaid,  N. S., and Goldspink,  G., 1984, “Connective Tissue Changes and Physical Properties of Developing and Ageing Skeletal Muscle,” J. Anat., 139, pp. 677–689.
Kent-Braun,  J. A., Alexander,  V. N., and Young,  K., 2000, “Skeletal Muscle Contractile and Noncontractile Components in Young and Older Women and Men,” J. Appl. Physiol., 88, pp. 662–668.
Larsson,  L., and Salviati,  G., 1989, “Effects of Age on Calcium Transport Activity of Sarcoplasmic Reticulum in Fast- and Slow-Twitch Rat Muscle Fibres,” J Physiol, 419, pp. 253–264.
Narayanan,  N., Jones,  D. L., Xu,  A., and Yu,  J. C., 1996, “Effects of Aging on Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Function and Contraction Duration in Skeletal Muscles of the Rat,” Am. J. Physiol., 271, pp. C1032–C1040.
Hunter,  S. K., Thompson,  M. W., Ruell,  P. A., Harmer,  A. R., Thom,  J. M., Gwinn,  T. H., and Adams,  R. D., 1999, “Human Skeletal Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Ca2+ Uptake and Muscle Function with Aging and Strength Training,” J. Appl. Physiol., 86, pp. 1858–1865.
Proske,  U., and Morgan,  D. L., 1987, “Tendon Stiffness: Methods of Measurement and Significance for the Control of Movement. A Review.” J. Biomech., 20, pp. 75–82.
Blevins,  F. T., Hecker,  A. T., Bigler,  G. T., Boland,  A. L., and Hayes,  W. C., 1994, “The Effects of Donor Age and Strain Rate on the Biomechanical Properties of Bone-Patellar Tendon-Bone Allografts,” Am. J. Sports Med., , 22, pp. 328–333.
Lewis,  G., and Shaw,  K. M., 1997, “Tensile Properties of Human Tendo Achillis: Effect of Donor Age and Strain Rate,” J. Foot Ankle Surg., 36, pp. 435–445.
Johnson,  G. A., Tramaglini,  D. M., Levine,  R. E., Ohno,  K., Choi,  N. Y., and Woo,  S. L., 1994, “Tensile and Viscoelastic Properties of Human Patellar Tendon,” J. Orthop. Res., 12, pp. 796–803.
Nakagawa,  Y., Hayashi,  K., Yamamoto,  N., and Nagashima,  K., 1996, “Age-Related Changes in Biomechanics Properties of the Achilles Tendon in Rabbits,” Eur. J. Appl. Physiol., , 73, pp. 7–10.
Delp,  S. L., Loan,  J. P., Hoy,  M. G., Zajac,  F. E., Topp,  E. L., and Rosen,  J. M., 1990, “An Interactive Graphics-Based Model of the Lower Extremity to Study Orthopaedic Surgical Procedures,” IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng., 37, pp. 757–67.
Winter, D. A., 1990, Biomechanics and Motor Control of Human Movement, 2nd Ed., Wiley, New York, NY.
Thelen,  D. G., Ashton-Miller,  J. A., Schultz,  A. B., and Alexander,  N. B., 1996, “Do Neural Factors Underlie Age Differences in Rapid Ankle Torque Development?” J. Am. Geriatr. Soc., 44, pp. 804–808.
Winters, J. M., 1990, “Hill-Based Muscle Models: A Systems Engineering Perspective,” in Multiple Muscle Systems: Biomechanics and Movement Organization, edited by JM Winters and SL Woo, Springer-Verlag, New York.
Davies,  C. T. M., and White,  M. J., 1983, “Contractile Properties of Elderly Human Triceps Surae,” Gerontology, 29, pp. 19–25.
van Schaik,  C. S., Hicks,  A. L., and McCartney,  N., 1994, “An Evaluation of the Length-Tension Relationship in Elderly Human Ankle Dorsiflexors,” J Gerontol Biol Sci, 49, pp. 121–127.
Staron,  R. S., 1997, “Human Skeletal Muscle Fiber Types: Delineation, Development and Distribution,” Can. J. Appl. Physiol., 22, pp. 307–327.
Poulin,  M. J., Vandervoort,  A. A., Paterson,  D. H., Kramer,  J. F., and Cunningham,  D. A., 1992, “Eccentric and Concentric Torques of Knee and Elbow Extension in Young and Older Men,” Can. J. Sport Sci., 17, pp. 3–7.
Gordon,  A. M., Huxley,  A. F., and Julian,  F. J., 1966, “The Variation in Isometric Tension with Sarcomere Length in Vertebrate Muscle Fibres,” J Physiol, 184, pp. 170–192.
Katz,  B., 1939, “The Relation Between Force and Speed in Muscular Contraction,” J Physiol, 96, pp. 45–64.


Grahic Jump Location
A Hill-type model was used to describe musculo-tendon contraction mechanics. The model consists of a muscle contractile element in series and parallel with elastic elements. (a) A Gaussian curve was used to describe the active force-length relationship of muscle. (b) The muscle force-velocity function was scaled with activation such that the unloaded contraction velocity was reduced during sub-maximal activation. (c) Tendon force was assumed to increase exponentially with strain during an initial toe region, and linearly with strain thereafter.
Grahic Jump Location
Simulated muscle excitations and ankle torques during a rapid isometric contraction (thick lines). The experimental data (thin lines) are a representative tibialis anterior myoelectric signal and ensemble-averaged torque-time curve recorded from young adult males 7.
Grahic Jump Location
Simulated contractions in dorsiflexion (DF) and plantarflexion (PF) in response to unit pulse muscle excitations of 5 ms duration. Model parameters representative of young adults were used. Contractions are prolonged in plantarflexion due to larger tendon length/fiber length ratios in the plantarflexor muscles.
Grahic Jump Location
Simulated torque-angle curves for isometric (thick black lines), 30 deg/s (thick gray lines) and 120 deg/s (thin black lines) isokinetic contractions using model parameters representative of older males. The superimposed points are the mean (error bar=1 SD) torques recorded experimentally from old males during isometric and isokinetic exertions 7.
Grahic Jump Location
Simulated peak ankle torques, normalized to maximal isometric torque, as a function of velocity during isokinetic dorsiflexion and plantarflexion exertions for young (thick lines) and old (thin lines) adults. Superimposed are the mean (error bar=1 SD) normalized torques recorded from healthy young and old adults 7.




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In