Oct 16, 2015

Unconstrained muscle-tendon workloops indicate resonance tuning as a mechanism for elastic limb behavior during terrestrial locomotion

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Benjamin D Robertson, Gregory S Sawicki

Abstract

In terrestrial locomotion, there is a missing link between observed spring-like limb mechanics and the physiological systems driving their emergence. Previous modeling and experimental studies of bouncing gait (e.g., walking, running, hopping) identified muscle-tendon interactions that cycle large amounts of energy in series tendon as a source of elastic limb behavior. The neural, biomechanical, and environmental origins of these tuned mechanics, however, have remained elusive. To examine the dynamic interplay between these factors, we developed an experimental platform comprised of a feedback-controlled servo-motor coupled to a biological muscle-tendon. Our novel motor controller mimicked in vivo inertial/gravitational loading experienced by muscles during terrestrial locomotion, and rhythmic patterns of muscle activation were applied via stimulation of intact nerve. This approach was based on classical workloop studies, but avoided predetermined patterns of muscle strain and activation-constraints not imposed during real-world locomotion. Our unconstrained approach to position control allowed observation of emergent muscle-tendon mechanics resulting from dynamic interaction of neural control, active muscle, and system materia...Continue Reading

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References

Mentioned in this Paper

Study
In Vivo
Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure
Neuroregulation
Tendons, Para-Articular
Locomotion
Limb Structure
Muscle
Hopping
Nerve

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