Active finite element analysis of skeletal muscle-tendon complex during isometric, shortening and lengthening contraction

Chi Pong Tsui, Chak Yin Tang, C. P. Leung, Ka Wai Eric Cheng, Y. F. Ng, D. H K Chow, C. K. Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


An active finite element model was developed to predict the mechanical behaviors of skeletal muscle-tendon complex during isometric, shortening and lengthening contraction. The active finite element was created through incorporation of a user-defined material property into ABAQUS finite element code. The active finite element is controlled by a motor element that is activated by a mathematical function. The nonlinear passive behavior of the muscle was defined by the viscoelastic elements and can be easily altered to other properties by using other elements in the material library without the need of re-defining the constitutive relation of the muscle. The isometric force-length relationship, force-strain relations of the muscle-tendon complex during both shortening and lengthening contraction and muscle relaxation response were predicted using the proposed finite element model. The predicted results were found to be in good agreement with available experimental data. In addition, the stress distribution in the muscle-tendon complex during isometric, shortening and lengthening contractions was simulated. The location of the maximum stress may provide useful information for studying muscle damage and fatigue in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-279
Number of pages9
JournalBio-Medical Materials and Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004


  • Active finite element
  • isometric contraction
  • lengthening contraction
  • shortening contraction
  • skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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