The overall objective of my research is to unravel the complex interactions between the musculoskeletal and neural systems during movement. For this purpose, both animal and human models are exploited. It has been my unique focus to study the mechanical and sensory action of skeletal muscles, not in isolation but in their in vivo context.
I have contributed to (i) our understanding of the different pathways via which forces produced by muscle fibers are transmitted to our skeleton, in particular to the mechanisms and functional relevance of epimuscular force transmission; (ii) to the sensorimotor consequences of peripheral nerve injury and repair; (iii) to the mechanical and neural changes following an agonist-to-antagonist tendon transfer; (iv) to effects of spasticity on muscle morphology and joint mechanics; (v) our understanding of the neuromechanics of single finger movements.
I have supervised 5 PhD students and have (co-) authored over 60 papers in international scientific journals. I am serving on several editorial boards and I am a committee member of the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme VENI of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.
Currently my research is centered around four themes: 1) encoding muscle state and limb position by muscle sensory feedback, 2) hand and finger motor control, 3) three-dimensional tendon structure and mechanical properties, 4) effects of stroke on neuromuscular control and muscle mechanics.
I obtained a M.Sc. (1999) and Ph.D. (2003) degree in Human Movement Sciences from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. After postdoctoral fellowships at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta (USA) and Northwestern University in Chicago (USA), I returned in 2008 to the Department of Human Movement Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where I am currently an Associate Professor. I received the personal Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant (2007), the personal VIDI grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (2010) and I was a PhD supervisor in the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate Programme Move-Age (2013-2018).
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Excerpts of scientific work
- Single finger movements in the aging hand: changes in finger independence, muscle activation patterns and tendon displacement in older adults
- Neuromuscular control during gait in people with haemophilic arthropathy
- Progressive adaptation of whole-limb kinematics after peripheral nerve injury
- Myofascial Loads Can Occur without Fascicle Length Changes
- Distinct neural control of intrinsic and extrinsic muscles of the hand during single finger pressing
- Time course of denervation-induced changes in gastrocnemius muscles of adult and old rats
- Increased enslaving in elderly is associated with changes in neural control of the extrinsic finger muscles
- Effects of intervertebral disc lesion and multifidus muscle resection on the structure of the lumbar intervertebral discs and paraspinal musculature of the rat
Non-uniform displacement and strain between the soleus and gastrocnemius subtendons of rat Achilles tendon
Finni, T., Bernabei, M., Baan, G. C., Noort, W., Tijs, C. & Maas, H., 1 Mar 2018, In : Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. 28, 3, p. 1009-1017 9 p.
- Time course of functional recovery during the first 3 mo after surgical transection and repair of nerves to the feline soleus and lateral gastrocnemius muscles
- Activity patterns of extrinsic finger flexors and extensors during movements of instructed and non-instructed fingers
- Understanding the constraints of finger motor control
- Outcome of medial hamstring lengthening in children with spastic paresis: A biomechanical and morphological observational study
A musculoskeletal model of the hand and wrist: model definition and evaluation
Mirakhorlo, M., Van Beek, N., Wesseling, M., Maas, H., Veeger, H. E. J. & Jonkers, I., 2018, In : Computer methods in biomechanics and biomedical engineering. 21, 9, p. 548-557
- Tendon displacements during voluntary and involuntary finger movements
- Mechanical Coupling between Muscle-Tendon Units Reduces Peak Stresses
- The importance of cutaneous feedback on neural activation during maximal voluntary contraction
- Evidence of adaptations of locomotor neural drive in response to enhanced intermuscular connectivity between the triceps surae muscles of the rat
- Timing and extent of finger force enslaving during a dynamic force task cannot be explained by EMG activity patterns
- Musculotendon adaptations and preservation of spinal reflex pathways following agonist-to-antagonist tendon transfer
- Longitudinal and transversal displacements between triceps surae muscles during locomotion of the rat
- Proefdieronderzoek in het Myologisch Laboratorium van de VU
- Anatomical parameters for musculoskeletal modeling of the hand and wrist
- Task-dependent activity of motor unit populations in feline ankle extensor muscles
- Effects of tendon and muscle belly dissection on muscular force transmission following tendon transfer in the rat
- The mechanical effect of rat flexor carpi ulnaris muscle after tendon transfer: does it generate a wrist extension moment?
- Myofascial force transmission between transferred rat flexor carpi ulnaris muscle and former synergistic palmaris longus muscle
- Short-term motor compensations to denervation of feline soleus and lateral gastrocnemius result in preservation of ankle mechanical output during locomotion
- Locomotor changes in length and EMG activity of feline medial gastrocnemius muscle following paralysis of two synergists
- Dynamic imaging of skeletal muscle contraction in three orthogonal directions
- Force Transmission between Synergistic Skeletal Muscles through Connective Tissue Linkages
Patterns of motor unit recruitment in feline ankle extensor muscles during different motor tasks
Hodson-Tole, E. F., Gregor, R. J., Maas, H., Farrell, B. J. & Prilutsky, B. I., Jun 2009, In : Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A. Molecular and Integrative Physiology. 153A, 2, p. S124-S124
- Force summation between muscles: are muscles independent actuators?
- Distinct muscle fascicle length changes in feline medial gastrocnemius and soleus muscles during slope walking
- In situ estimation of tendon material properties: differences between muscles of the feline hindlimb
- Implantable myoelectric sensors (IMESs) for intramuscular electromyogram recording
- Synergistic and antagonistic interactions in the rat forelimb: acute effects of coactivation
- Is muscle-tendon unit length a valid indicator for muscle spindle output?
- Task Specific Expression of Sensory Loss Following Gastrocnemius Self-reinnervation in the Cat
- Modeling short-range stiffness of feline lower hindlimb muscles
- Are skeletal muscles independent actuators? Force transmission from soleus muscle in the cat
- The effects of self-reinnervation of cat medial and lateral gastrocnemius muscles on hindlimb kinematics in slope walking
- Mechanisms causing effects of muscle position on proximo-distal muscle force differences in extra-muscular myofascial force transmission
- Intermuscular interaction between synergists in rat originates from both intermuscular and extramuscular myofascial force transmission
- Myofascial force transmission in dynamic muscle conditions: effects of dynamic shortening of a single head of multi-tendoned rat extensor digitorum longus muscle
- Controlled intermittent shortening contractions of a muscle-tendon complex: muscle fibre damage and effects on force transmission from a single head of rat EDL
- Effects of prolonged exercise on proteins of the lateral force transmission chain (in Finish)
- Muscle force is determined also by muscle relative position: isolated effects
- The relative position of EDL muscle affects the length of sarcomeres within muscle fibers: experimental results and finite element modeling
- Compartmental fasciotomy and isolating a muscle from neighbouring muscles interfere with extramuscular myofascial force transmission within the rat anterior tibial compartment.
Excerpts of scientific work
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