28 May 1999 Muscle contraction as a polymer-gel phase transition
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In this paper I argue that the mechanism of muscle contraction is similar to the mechanism of contraction in most artificial muscles. Artificial muscles typically contract by a phase- transition. Muscle is thought to contract by a sliding- filament mechanism in which one set of filaments is driven past another by the action of cyclically rotating cross- bridges -- much like the mechanism of rowing. However, the evidence is equally consistent with a mechanism in which the filaments themselves contract, much like the collapse of polymers during a phase-transition. Muscle contains three principal polymer types, organized neatly within a framework. There is evidence that all three can contract. It appears that the relative contributions of each filament are designed to confer strength, speed and versatility on this natural machine. The principles of natural contraction may be useful in establishing optimal design principles for artificial muscles.
© (1999) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Gerald H. Pollack, Gerald H. Pollack, } "Muscle contraction as a polymer-gel phase transition", Proc. SPIE 3669, Smart Structures and Materials 1999: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices, (28 May 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.349711; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.349711

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