On simulating sustained isometric muscle fatigue: a phenomenological model considering different fiber metabolisms

Biomech Model Mechanobiol. 2014 Nov;13(6):1373-85. doi: 10.1007/s10237-014-0579-3. Epub 2014 Apr 7.


The present study shows a new computational FEM technique to simulate the evolution of the mechanical response of 3D muscle models subjected to fatigue. In an attempt to obtain very realistic models, parameters needed to adjust the mathematical formulation were obtained from in vivo experimental tests. The fatigue contractile properties of three different rat muscles (Tibialis Anterior, Extensor Digitorium Longus and Soleus) subjected to sustained maximal isometric contraction were determined. Experiments were conducted on three groups [Formula: see text] of male Wistar rats [Formula: see text] using a protocol previously developed by the authors for short tetanic contractions. The muscles were subjected to an electrical stimulus to achieve tetanic contraction during 10 s. The parameters obtained for each muscle were incorporated into a finite strain formulation for simulating active and passive behavior of muscles with different fiber metabolisms. The results show the potential of the model to predict muscle fatigue under high-frequency stimulation and the 3D distribution of mechanical variables such as stresses and strains.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology*
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Muscle Fatigue / physiology*
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Organ Size
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Tibia / physiology