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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: William C. Whiting, PhD (California State University, Northridge)
Description: This book begins with a concise overview of skeletal muscle physiology and mechanics, followed by a discussion of basic theoretical muscle models, mechanics of deformable systems, and computer modeling.
Purpose: The stated goal is "to describe the basic biology, physiology and mechanics of muscular contraction, and to introduce the reader to a rigorous mathematical and mechanical approach for developing muscle models." By effectively summarizing the development of muscle models from both theoretical and practical perspectives, the authors have achieved their purpose.
Audience: The book targets senior undergraduate and graduate students and professionals of biomechanics, exercise/sport science, and kinesiology. The appropriateness for this audience depends on the reader's background. As noted by the authors, "... some chapters may contain well known information while others may appear extremely difficult. This is the nature of the topic and the nature of the book." The authors are noted authorities in the field of skeletal muscle mechanics and modeling.
Features: The first part (chapters 1-4) provides a concise and readable review of skeletal muscle biology and mechanics, muscle modeling, and theological and structural muscle models. Chapter 3 provides an interesting comparison of classic Hill and Huxley type models of skeletal muscle. In the second part (chapters 5-7) the authors describe the mechanical and mathematical treatment of complex muscle models and discuss model considerations with respect to movement control. Some readers in the targeted audience may find the mathematical formulations in later chapters a bit daunting. The two appendixes contain step-by-step computer routines for both time-independent and time-dependent modeling.
Assessment: The authors have combined theory and knowledge of the biological function of skeletal muscle to produce a unique and comprehensive examination of basic skeletal muscle modeling that should prove useful to those interested in skeletal muscle mechanics and the control of human movement.