Entropic elasticity in the generation of muscle Force - A theoretical model

Bjørn Gilbert Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A novel simplified structural model of sarcomeric force production in striate muscle is presented. Using some simple assumptions regarding the distribution of myosin spring lengths at different sliding velocities it is possible to derive a very simple expression showing the main components of the experimentally observed force-velocity relationship of muscle: nonlinearity during contraction (Hill, 1938), maximal force production during stretching equal to two times the isometric force (Katz, 1939), yielding at high stretching velocity, slightly concave force-extension relationship during sudden length changes (Ford et al., 1977; Lombardi & piazzesi, 1990), accurate reproduction of the rate of atp consumption (shirakawa et al., 2000; He et al., 2000) and of the extra energy liberation rate (Hill, 1964a). Different assumptions regarding the force-length relationship of individual cross-bridges are explored [linear, power function and worm-like chain (WLC) model based], and it is shown that the best results are obtained if the individual myosin-spring forces are modelled using a WLC model, thus hinting that entropic elasticity could be the main source of force in myosin undergoing the conformational changes associated with the power stroke.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)99-119
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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