Predicting fatigue during electrically stimulated non-isometric contractions

M. Susan Marion, Anthony S. Wexler, Maury L. Hull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Mathematical prediction of power loss during electrically stimulated contractions is of value to those trying to minimize fatigue and to those trying to decipher the relative contributions of force and velocity. Our objectives were to: (1) develop a model of non-isometric fatigue for electrical stimulation-induced, open-chain, repeated extensions of the leg at the knee; and (2) experimentally validate the model. A computer-controlled stimulator sent electrical pulses to surface electrodes on the thighs of 17 able-bodied subjects. Isometric and non-isometric non-fatiguing and fatiguing leg extension torque and/or angle at the knee were measured. Two existing mathematical models, one of non-isometric force and the other of isometric fatigue, were combined to develop the non-isometric force-fatigue model. Angular velocity and 3 new parameters were added to the isometric fatigue model. The new parameters are functions of parameters within the force model, and therefore additional measurements from the subject are not needed. More than 60% of the variability in the measurements was explained by the new force-fatigue model. This model can help scientists investigate the etiology of non-isometric fatigue and help engineers to improve the task performance of functional electrical stimulation systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-867
Number of pages11
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Functional electrical stimulation (FES)
  • Mathematical model
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Non-isometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology


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