Force and motion generation of myosin motors: Muscle contraction

Rachid Ait Haddou, W. Herzog*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Brownian ratchet theory refers to the phenomenon that non-equilibrium fluctuations in an isothermal medium and anisotropic system can induce mechanical force and motion. This concept of noise-induced transport has motivated an abundance of theoretical and applied research. One of the exciting applications of the ratchet theory lies in the possible explanation of the operating mode of biological molecular motors. Biomolecular motors are proteins able of converting chemical reactions into mechanical motion and force. Operating at energy levels only a few times greater than the energy levels of thermal baths, their operating mode has to be stochastic in nature. Here, we review the theoretical concepts of the Brownian ratchet theory and its possible link to the operation of the myosin II motors involved in muscle contraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-445
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002


  • Brownian ratchets
  • Feynman's ratchet
  • Free energy transduction
  • Molecular motors
  • Muscle contraction
  • Myosin motor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Neurology


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