Can muscle fibers be stable on the descending limbs of their sarcomere length-tension relations?

J Biomech. Nov-Dec 1997;30(11-12):1179-82. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9290(97)00079-1.


The authors of a paper published in this journal (Allinger et al. (1996) J. Biomechanics 29, 627-633) have concluded, based on a theoretical analysis, that muscle fibers may be stable even if some of their constituent sarcomeres have lengths falling on the descending limbs of their static length-tension relations. This note reconsiders the question of fiber stability and concludes that fibers are unstable if at least one of their sarcomeres is on the descending limb. A positive 'short-range' sarcomere stiffness has no effect on fiber stability, and a positive 'effective stiffness' of the whole fiber does not imply sarcomere stability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Elasticity
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / ultrastructure
  • Sarcomeres / physiology*
  • Sarcomeres / ultrastructure
  • Stress, Mechanical