Architecture and Elastic Properties of the Series Elastic Element of Muscle-Tendon Complex

  • Gertjan J. C. Ettema
  • Peter A. Huijing


Series elasticity in skeletal muscle is considered to be of great importance for muscle functioning in several ways. For example, in movement control studies, the musculo-skeletal system is often modelled as a mass-spring complex, in which the stiffness characteristics of the springs determine a joint equilibrium position which will be obtained at certain activation levels of the muscles (Schmidt, 1982). This type of modelling is also applied for studying mammalian running gaits with respect to movement speed, type of gait and energy expenditure [McMahon, 1985; Chapter 37 (McMahon); Taylor, 1985]. Furthermore, the series elastic element (SE) takes up part of length changes of the muscle-tendon complex, which means that the contractile element (CE) does not “see” all of the muscle-tendon complex movement [see also Chapter 38 (Hof)]. An approach in principle similar to these behavioral models can be applied to series elastic tendinous structures (i.e., part of SE) and muscle fibers.


Muscle Length Pennation Angle Series Elastic Element Tendon Complex Series Elastic Component 
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© Springer-Verlag, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gertjan J. C. Ettema
  • Peter A. Huijing

There are no affiliations available

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