Modulation of muscle-tendon interaction in the human triceps surae during an energy dissipation task

Amelie Werkhausen, Kirsten Albracht, Neil J Cronin, Rahel Meier, Jens Bojsen-Møller, Olivier R Seynnes

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

71 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The compliance of elastic elements allows muscles to dissipate energy safely during eccentric contractions. This buffering function is well documented in animal models but our understanding of its mechanism in humans is confined to non-specific tasks, requiring a subsequent acceleration of the body. The present study aimed to examine the behaviour of the human triceps surae muscle-tendon unit (MTU) during a pure energy dissipation task, under two loading conditions. Thirty-nine subjects performed a single-leg landing task, with and without added mass. Ultrasound measurements were combined with three-dimensional kinematics and kinetics to determine instantaneous length changes of MTUs, muscle fascicles, Achilles tendon and combined elastic elements. Gastrocnemius and soleus MTUs lengthened during landing. After a small concentric action, fascicles contracted eccentrically during most of the task, whereas plantar flexor muscles were activated. Combined elastic elements lengthened until peak ankle moment and recoiled thereafter, whereas no recoil was observed for the Achilles tendon. Adding mass resulted in greater negative work and MTU lengthening, which were accompanied by a greater stretch of tendon and elastic elements and a greater recruitment of the soleus muscle, without any further fascicle strain. Hence, the buffering action of elastic elements delimits the maximal strain and lengthening velocity of active muscle fascicles and is commensurate with loading constraints. In the present task, energy dissipation was modulated via greater MTU excursion and more forceful eccentric contractions. The distinct strain pattern of the Achilles tendon supports the notion that different elastic elements may not systematically fulfil the same function.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Experimental Biology
Volume220
Issue number22
Pages (from-to)4141-4149
ISSN0022-0949
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15. Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

tendons
energy dissipation
muscle
Muscles
muscles
energy
Achilles Tendon
buffering
contraction
human behavior
Compliance
kinematics
Leg
compliance
Skeletal Muscle
legs
animal models
kinetics
animal

Keywords

  • Achilles Tendon/physiology
  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle, Skeletal/physiology
  • Young Adult

Cite this

Werkhausen, Amelie ; Albracht, Kirsten ; Cronin, Neil J ; Meier, Rahel ; Bojsen-Møller, Jens ; Seynnes, Olivier R. / Modulation of muscle-tendon interaction in the human triceps surae during an energy dissipation task. In: The Journal of Experimental Biology. 2017 ; Vol. 220, No. 22. pp. 4141-4149.
@article{34224b079ed145be9eb395727585da12,
title = "Modulation of muscle-tendon interaction in the human triceps surae during an energy dissipation task",
abstract = "The compliance of elastic elements allows muscles to dissipate energy safely during eccentric contractions. This buffering function is well documented in animal models but our understanding of its mechanism in humans is confined to non-specific tasks, requiring a subsequent acceleration of the body. The present study aimed to examine the behaviour of the human triceps surae muscle-tendon unit (MTU) during a pure energy dissipation task, under two loading conditions. Thirty-nine subjects performed a single-leg landing task, with and without added mass. Ultrasound measurements were combined with three-dimensional kinematics and kinetics to determine instantaneous length changes of MTUs, muscle fascicles, Achilles tendon and combined elastic elements. Gastrocnemius and soleus MTUs lengthened during landing. After a small concentric action, fascicles contracted eccentrically during most of the task, whereas plantar flexor muscles were activated. Combined elastic elements lengthened until peak ankle moment and recoiled thereafter, whereas no recoil was observed for the Achilles tendon. Adding mass resulted in greater negative work and MTU lengthening, which were accompanied by a greater stretch of tendon and elastic elements and a greater recruitment of the soleus muscle, without any further fascicle strain. Hence, the buffering action of elastic elements delimits the maximal strain and lengthening velocity of active muscle fascicles and is commensurate with loading constraints. In the present task, energy dissipation was modulated via greater MTU excursion and more forceful eccentric contractions. The distinct strain pattern of the Achilles tendon supports the notion that different elastic elements may not systematically fulfil the same function.",
keywords = "Achilles Tendon/physiology, Adult, Biomechanical Phenomena, Humans, Kinetics, Male, Motor Activity, Muscle Contraction, Muscle, Skeletal/physiology, Young Adult",
author = "Amelie Werkhausen and Kirsten Albracht and Cronin, {Neil J} and Rahel Meier and Jens Bojsen-M{\o}ller and Seynnes, {Olivier R}",
note = "{\circledC} 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.",
year = "2017",
month = "11",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1242/jeb.164111",
language = "English",
volume = "220",
pages = "4141--4149",
journal = "BRITISH JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY",
issn = "0022-0949",
publisher = "The/Company of Biologists Ltd.",
number = "22",

}

Modulation of muscle-tendon interaction in the human triceps surae during an energy dissipation task. / Werkhausen, Amelie; Albracht, Kirsten; Cronin, Neil J; Meier, Rahel; Bojsen-Møller, Jens; Seynnes, Olivier R.

In: The Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 220, No. 22, 15.11.2017, p. 4141-4149.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Modulation of muscle-tendon interaction in the human triceps surae during an energy dissipation task

AU - Werkhausen, Amelie

AU - Albracht, Kirsten

AU - Cronin, Neil J

AU - Meier, Rahel

AU - Bojsen-Møller, Jens

AU - Seynnes, Olivier R

N1 - © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

PY - 2017/11/15

Y1 - 2017/11/15

N2 - The compliance of elastic elements allows muscles to dissipate energy safely during eccentric contractions. This buffering function is well documented in animal models but our understanding of its mechanism in humans is confined to non-specific tasks, requiring a subsequent acceleration of the body. The present study aimed to examine the behaviour of the human triceps surae muscle-tendon unit (MTU) during a pure energy dissipation task, under two loading conditions. Thirty-nine subjects performed a single-leg landing task, with and without added mass. Ultrasound measurements were combined with three-dimensional kinematics and kinetics to determine instantaneous length changes of MTUs, muscle fascicles, Achilles tendon and combined elastic elements. Gastrocnemius and soleus MTUs lengthened during landing. After a small concentric action, fascicles contracted eccentrically during most of the task, whereas plantar flexor muscles were activated. Combined elastic elements lengthened until peak ankle moment and recoiled thereafter, whereas no recoil was observed for the Achilles tendon. Adding mass resulted in greater negative work and MTU lengthening, which were accompanied by a greater stretch of tendon and elastic elements and a greater recruitment of the soleus muscle, without any further fascicle strain. Hence, the buffering action of elastic elements delimits the maximal strain and lengthening velocity of active muscle fascicles and is commensurate with loading constraints. In the present task, energy dissipation was modulated via greater MTU excursion and more forceful eccentric contractions. The distinct strain pattern of the Achilles tendon supports the notion that different elastic elements may not systematically fulfil the same function.

AB - The compliance of elastic elements allows muscles to dissipate energy safely during eccentric contractions. This buffering function is well documented in animal models but our understanding of its mechanism in humans is confined to non-specific tasks, requiring a subsequent acceleration of the body. The present study aimed to examine the behaviour of the human triceps surae muscle-tendon unit (MTU) during a pure energy dissipation task, under two loading conditions. Thirty-nine subjects performed a single-leg landing task, with and without added mass. Ultrasound measurements were combined with three-dimensional kinematics and kinetics to determine instantaneous length changes of MTUs, muscle fascicles, Achilles tendon and combined elastic elements. Gastrocnemius and soleus MTUs lengthened during landing. After a small concentric action, fascicles contracted eccentrically during most of the task, whereas plantar flexor muscles were activated. Combined elastic elements lengthened until peak ankle moment and recoiled thereafter, whereas no recoil was observed for the Achilles tendon. Adding mass resulted in greater negative work and MTU lengthening, which were accompanied by a greater stretch of tendon and elastic elements and a greater recruitment of the soleus muscle, without any further fascicle strain. Hence, the buffering action of elastic elements delimits the maximal strain and lengthening velocity of active muscle fascicles and is commensurate with loading constraints. In the present task, energy dissipation was modulated via greater MTU excursion and more forceful eccentric contractions. The distinct strain pattern of the Achilles tendon supports the notion that different elastic elements may not systematically fulfil the same function.

KW - Achilles Tendon/physiology

KW - Adult

KW - Biomechanical Phenomena

KW - Humans

KW - Kinetics

KW - Male

KW - Motor Activity

KW - Muscle Contraction

KW - Muscle, Skeletal/physiology

KW - Young Adult

U2 - 10.1242/jeb.164111

DO - 10.1242/jeb.164111

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 28883087

VL - 220

SP - 4141

EP - 4149

JO - BRITISH JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY

JF - BRITISH JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY

SN - 0022-0949

IS - 22

ER -