Changes in pennation with joint angle and muscle torque: in vivo measurements in human brachialis muscle.

Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
The Journal of Physiology (Impact Factor: 4.54). 05/1995; 484 ( Pt 2):523-32. DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.1995.sp020683
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 1. Estimates of pennation in human muscles are usually obtained from cadavers. In this study, pennation of human brachialis was measured in vivo using sonography. Effects of static and dynamic changes in elbow angle and torque were investigated. 2. Pennation was measured in eight subjects using an 80 mm, 5 MHz, linear-array ultrasound transducer to generate sagittal images of the brachialis during maximal and submaximal isometric contractions at various elbow angles. It was shown that estimates of pennation were reproducible, representative of measurements made throughout the belly of the muscle and not distorted by compression of the muscle with the transducer or rotation of the muscle out of the plane of the transducer. 3. Mean resting pennation was 9.0 +/- 2.0 deg (S.D., range 6.5-12.9 deg). When the muscle was relaxed there was no effect of elbow angle on pennation. However, during a maximal isometric contraction (MVC), with the elbow flexed to 90 deg, pennation increased non-linearly with elbow torque to between 22 and 30 deg (mean 24.7 +/- 2.4 deg). The effect of increasing torque was small when the elbow was fully extended. The relationship between elbow angle, elbow torque and brachialis pennation suggests that the relaxed brachialis muscle is slack over much of its physiological range of lengths. 4. There was no hysteresis in the relationship between torque and pennation during slow isometric contractions (0.2 MVC s-1), and the relationship between elbow angle and pennation was similar during slow shortening and lengthening contractions. 5. Two consequences follow from these findings. Firstly, intramuscular mechanics are complex and simple planar models of muscles underestimate the increases in pennation which occur during muscle contraction. Second, spindle afferents from relaxed muscles may not encode joint angle over the full range of movement.

Download full-text


Available from: Simon C Gandevia, Jun 24, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Conventional bipolar EMG provides imprecise muscle activation estimates due to possibly heterogeneous activity within muscles and due to improper alignment of the electrodes with the muscle fibers. Principal component analysis (PCA), applied on multi-channel monopolar EMG yielded substantial improvements in muscle activation estimates in pennate muscles. We investigated the degree of heterogeneity in muscle activity and the contribution of PCA to muscle activation estimates in biceps brachii (BB), which has a relatively simply parallel-fibered architecture. EMG-based muscle activation estimates were assessed by comparison to elbow flexion forces in isometric, two-state isotonic contractions in eleven healthy male subjects. Monopolar EMG was collected over the entire surface of the BB with about 63 electrodes. Estimation quality of different combinations of EMG channels showed that heterogeneous activation was found mainly in medio-lateral direction, whereas adding channels in the longitudinal direction added largely redundant information. Multi-channel bipolar EMG amplitude improved muscle activation estimates by 5-14% as compared to a single bipolar. PCA-processed monopolar EMG amplitude yielded a further improvement of (12-22%). Thus multi-channel EMG, processed with PCA, substantially improves the quality of muscle activation estimates compared conventional bipolar EMG in BB.
    Journal of electromyography and kinesiology: official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology 04/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.jelekin.2013.03.004 · 1.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tissue velocity imaging (TVI) is a Doppler based ultrasound technique that can be used to study regional deformation in skeletal muscle tissue. The aim of this study was to develop a biomechanical model to describe the TVI strain's dependency on the pennation angle. We demonstrate its impact as the subsequent strain measurement error using dynamic elbow contractions from the medial and the lateral part of biceps brachii at two different loadings; 5% and 25% of maximum voluntary contraction (MVC). The estimated pennation angles were on average about 4° in extended position and increased to a maximal of 13° in flexed elbow position. The corresponding relative angular error spread from around 7% up to around 40%. To accurately apply TVI on skeletal muscles, the error due to angle changes should be compensated for. As a suggestion, this could be done according to the presented model.
    Ultrasound in medicine & biology 07/2011; 37(7):1151-60. DOI:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2011.04.006 · 2.10 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The contractile properties of the tibial anterior (TA) of Wistar rats were measured by means of a multipurpose testing machine. The muscle was isolated from the connective tissues, preserving the proximal insertion. The distal tendon was transected and fixed to the machine actuator. The leg was inmobilised using a pin drilled through the femoral condyle. In this way the force response was studied in vivo at different constant lengths for some voltages and frequencies. Mathematical functions are proposed for adjusting the force-length, force-frequency and force-time relations. The model includes a novel formulation for the depression response during muscle tetanisation.
    Journal of Theoretical Biology 12/2010; 267(4):546-53. DOI:10.1016/j.jtbi.2010.09.018 · 2.30 Impact Factor