Active finite element method for simulating the contraction behavior of a muscle-tendon complex

Chi Pong Tsui, Chak Yin Tang, C. L. Chow, S. C. Hui, Y. L. Hong

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


A three-dimensional finite element analysis was conducted to simulate the effects of the varying material parameters on the contraction behaviors of a muscle-tendon complex using an active finite element method. The material behavior of the skeletal muscle was assumed to be orthotropic and the muscle model consists of two parts: the active and the passive parts. An active finite element method was then used for accommodating both the active and passive behaviors of the muscle into the muscle model. In this active-passive muscle model, the active component is governed by an activation level, a time period, a muscle sensitivity parameter and a strain rate. The material property of the passive component was assumed to be viscoelastic and the tendon is assumed to be linear elastic. The effects of activation amplitude and viscoelastic material parameters on the active, passive and total force-length relationship of the cat muscle under isometric contraction were predicted. The predicted results were found to be close to the experimental data reported in the available literature. Hence, the active-passive muscle model was extended to simulate the stress distribution of the cat muscle subject to shortening contraction and different activation amplitude. By varying the magnitude of the material parameters, different muscle behaviors could be generated. The proposed active finite element method lays a good foundation for simulation of human musculoskeletal motion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Symposium on Macro-, Meso-, Micro- and Nano-Mechanics of Materials, MM2003
PublisherTrans Tech Publications Ltd
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)0878499792, 9780878499793
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006
EventInternational Symposium on Macro-, Meso-, Micro- and Nano-Mechanics of Materials, MM2003 - Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 8 Dec 200310 Dec 2003

Publication series

NameAdvanced Materials Research
ISSN (Print)1022-6680


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Macro-, Meso-, Micro- and Nano-Mechanics of Materials, MM2003
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityHong Kong


  • Active finite element
  • Isometric contraction
  • Shortening contraction
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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