University of Minnesota
Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
Fall 2001 Seminar Series

Is Muscle Fiber Stable?

Prof. Lev Truskinovsky

Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, University of Minnesota


Typical skeletal muscle experiment shows a region on a force-length curve where total tension decreases with length which suggests instability. In spite of this evidence, unstable behavior has not been demonstrated by direct observations. Although the controversial force-length relation has been discussed extensively in the past fifty years no quantitative theory explaining the mechanism of stabilization has been suggested. In this lecture we discuss a new mathematical model of a muscle fiber, suggesting that passive elasticity coming from the surrounding connective tissue may play a crucial role in its mechanical stability. The new theory possesses interesting mathematical structure with the curious appearances of measure valued solutions and devil staircases (joint work with I. Novak).

Friday, October 26, 2001
209 Akerman Hall
2:30-3:30 p.m.

Refreshments served after the seminar in 227 Akerman Hall.
Disability accomodations provided upon request.
Contact Kristal Belisle, Senior Secretary, 625-8000.