Title: Our muscles aren’t one-dimensional fibres.
Abstract: Skeletal muscles possess rather amazing mechanical properties. They possess an intricate structure, and behave nonlinearly in response to mechanical stresses. In the 1910s, A.V. Hill observed muscles heat when they contract, but not when they relax. Based on experiments on frogs he posited a mathematical description of skeletal muscles which approximated muscle as a 1-dimensional nonlinear and massless spring. This has been a remarkably successful model, and remains in wide use. Recently, we’ve realized that skeletal muscle is three dimensional, has mass, and fairly complicated structure. I’ll present some work on a mathematical model which captures some of this complexity.
Dr. Nilima Nigam is Professor at Simon Fraser University.