Strains at the myotendinous junction predicted by a micromechanical model

Academic Article


  • The goal of this work was to create a finite element micromechanical model of the myotendinous junction (MTJ) to examine how the structure and mechanics of the MTJ affect the local micro-scale strains experienced by muscle fibers. We validated the model through comparisons with histological longitudinal sections of muscles fixed in slack and stretched positions. The model predicted deformations of the A-bands within the fiber near the MTJ that were similar to those measured from the histological sections. We then used the model to predict the dependence of local fiber strains on activation and the mechanical properties of the endomysium. The model predicted that peak micro-scale strains increase with activation and as the compliance of the endomysium decreases. Analysis of the models revealed that, in passive stretch, local fiber strains are governed by the difference of the mechanical properties between the fibers and the endomysium. In active stretch, strain distributions are governed by the difference in cross-sectional area along the length of the tapered region of the fiber near the MTJ. The endomysium provides passive resistance that balances the active forces and prevents the tapered region of the fiber from undergoing excessive strain. These model predictions lead to the following hypotheses: (i) the increased likelihood of injury during active lengthening of muscle fibers may be due to the increase in peak strain with activation and (ii) endomysium may play a role in protecting fibers from injury by reducing the strains within the fiber at the MTJ. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 17324701
  • Author List

  • Sharafi B; Ames EG; Holmes JW; Blemker SS
  • Start Page

  • 2795
  • End Page

  • 2801
  • Volume

  • 44
  • Issue

  • 16