Skeletal muscle is a complex three dimensional material; it differs from many other materials in its ability to activate and produce force, and is fundamental in locomotion. Its intricate structure crosses many length scales making it difficult to develop mathematical models that capture microscopic scale contributions to overall mechanics. In this thesis, we develop a homogenized model for the skeletal muscle microstructure, which is implemented in a finite strain nonlinear continuum elasticity model for muscle and solved using a finite element method. This model allows us to investigate consequences of the microstructure on overall mechanics. Further, we explore the influence of a neurological disorder, cerebral palsy, on skeletal muscle. Cerebral palsy muscle undergoes many changes making causation between the morphology of muscle and overall mechanics difficult to determine experimentally. Utilizing a computational approach, we isolate effects from individual variations in cerebral palsy muscle properties on three dimensional muscle behaviour.
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Thesis advisor: Nigam, Nilima
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