Articles | Volume 7, issue 1
Research article
18 Jan 2016
Research article |  | 18 Jan 2016

A comparison among different Hill-type contraction dynamics formulations for muscle force estimation

F. Romero and F. J. Alonso

Abstract. Muscle is a type of tissue able to contract and, thus, shorten, producing a pulling force able to generate movement. The analysis of its activity is essential to understand how the force is generated to perform a movement and how that force can be estimated from direct or indirect measurements. Hill-type muscle model is one of the most used models to describe the mechanism of force production. It is composed by different elements that describe the behaviour of the muscle (contractile, series elastic and parallel elastic element) and tendon. In this work we analyze the differences between different formulations found in the literature for these elements. To evaluate the differences, a flexo-extension movement of the arm was performed, using as input to the different models the surface electromyography signal recorded and the muscle-tendon lengths and contraction velocities obtained by means of inverse dynamic analysis. The results show that the force predicted by the different models is similar and the main differences in muscle force prediction were observed at full-flexion. The results are expected to contribute in the selection of the different formulations of Hill-type muscle model to solve a specific problem.

Short summary
In this work we analyze the main differences in muscle force production between the three different and widely used Hill-type muscle models (Soest and Bobbert, Silva-Kaplan and Thelen). As this work shows, there are slight differences between the obtained muscle efforts that arise from the assumptions made on each model. The computational effort or the control of the parameters involved in the experiments may determine the use of any of these descriptions of muscle tissue.