Development of novel methods for creation of a new subject-specific view of Achilles tendon structure and loading in health and disease (ACHILLES)

Main funder

Funder's project number355678

Funds granted by main funder (€)

  • 400 000,00

Funding program

Project timetable

Project start date01/09/2023

Project end date31/08/2027


Achilles tendon is an important tissue in locomotion, but human research lacks clinically relevant evidence of tendon structure–function relationships. Animal and cadaver studies have revealed the complex structure of the Achilles tendon (AT) with three subtendons, which is likely a key for understanding individual differences in the function of healthy and pathological tendons. ACHILLES develops an in vivo USTIM-method for mapping the three-dimensional structure of the AT and its three subtendons in vivo, using ultrasonography, kinematics, transcutaneous electrical stimulation and computational modeling. Human experiments are intertwined with modeling of AT subtendons using newly developed continuum finite beam elements for beam-like soft tissue structures with arbitrary cross-section description in a framework of the absolute nodal coordinate formulation with computational efficiency and robust solution. This method allows description of twisted subtendons with any physiological cross-sections based on the Gauss-Green cubature integration formula. ACHILLES will create contact (parameters) to describe the complete Achilles tendon with three subtendons. This model feeds a simplified surrogate tendon model to carry out a multibody system dynamics analysis of tendon during typical rehabilitation exercises and hopping. Human in vivo data will be assessed to examine subject-specific structure-function associations in a cohort having healthy (N=100) and pathological tendons (N=100). ACHILLES bridges the current gap between in vivo human and cadaver/animal studies in the area of muscle-tendon tissue biomechanics and by developing a REHAB-TRAINIG tool it will have a direct impact on the ability to improve current injury prevention and rehabilitation programs. The novel tools developed in ACHILLES enable researchers to advance understanding on human Achilles tendon structure and function in basic science and clinical settings.

Principal Investigator

Primary responsible unit

Follow-up groups

Profiling areaPhysical activity through life span (University of Jyväskylä JYU) PACTSSchool of Wellbeing (University of Jyväskylä JYU) JYU.Well

Last updated on 2024-17-04 at 13:02