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A New Muscle Activation Dynamics Model, That Simulates the Calcium Kinetics and Incorporates the Role of Store-Operated Calcium Entry Channels, to Enhance the Electromyography-Driven Hill-Type Models

Published: 1 September 2021

Abstract: Hill-type models are frequently used in biomechanical simulations. They are attractive for their low computational cost and close relation to commonly measured musculotendon parameters. Still, more attention is needed to improve the activation dynamics of the model specifically because of the nonlinearity observed in the electromyography (EMG)–force relation. Moreover, one of the important and practical questions regarding the assessment of the model's performance is how adequately can the model simulate any fundamental type of human movement without modifying model parameters for different tasks? This paper tries to answer this question by proposing a simple physiologically based activation dynamics model. The model describes the kinetics of the calcium dynamics while activating and deactivating the muscle contraction process. Hence, it allowed simulating the recently discovered role of store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) channels as immediate counterflux to calcium loss across the tubular system during excitation–contraction coupling. By comparing the ability to fit experimental data without readjusting the parameters, the proposed model has proven to have more steady performance than phenomenologically based models through different submaximal isometric contraction levels. This model indicates that more physiological insights are key for improving Hill-type model performance.
Keywords: channels / simulating / calcium entry / model's performance / store operated calcium

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