Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now

  Development of a new muscle mechanics model - mechanics of lower limb muscles during gait

   School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The goal of this project is to build a new model of muscle contraction called the Active Spring Muscle Model (ASMM) and to verify the model in human gait mechanics.

Notwithstanding the success of “sliding filament” model of actin and myosin filaments over 60 years in elucidating the mechanism of muscle contraction, the model still suffers from many problems in predicting muscle’s real mechanical behaviour, especially when the force, length, and velocity are changing dynamically. To overcome these limitations, the ASMM includes “titin”, a giant protein that spans the whole half sarcomere from M-line to Z-disk, as an extra spring-like mechanical component added to the existing sliding filament model. The model hypothesizes that titin works as an active spring by changing its mechanical properties upon muscle activation. This novel hypothesis can potentially explain many unexplained observations in muscle mechanics.

To this end, we will focus on mechanical behaviours of lower limb muscles during human locomotion, and see if our new model can provide a viable explanation to the observed mechanics of lower-limb muscles. To assess in-vivo muscle function we will combine state-of-the-art measurement techniques including optimal motion capture, dynamometry (Biodex), electromyography, and ultrasound sonography to measure the time-course of gait mechanics.

Techniques that will be undertaken during the project:

We are looking for motivated people to participate in the development of the experimental protocol, data collection, and numerical modelling/analysis. using OpenSIM and MATLAB. The ideal candidate will have a background in biomechanics and physiology with some experience in human experiment and will be intimately familiar with running numerical analyses using MATLAB.

Eligibility requirements: An Undergraduate Honours degree with a minimum classification of a 2.1 science BSc or a MSc or equivalent and a life science, clinical, or engineering background. English Language qualification for international students.

To find out more about studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham, including full details of the research undertaken in the School, the funding opportunities available for your subject, and guidance on making your application, you can order a copy of our Doctoral Research Prospectus, at:

Biological Sciences (4) Computer Science (8) Engineering (12) Medicine (26) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

This project is related to PI's ongoing BBSRC project "Active spring muscle model - a new phenomenological model of skeletal muscle mechanics" View Website Although PhD funding is not available, students will be able to receive various supports on their experiments.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Engineering?

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

Register your interest for this project

Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.