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Sensors 2018, 18(8), 2553; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18082553

A Piezoresistive Sensor to Measure Muscle Contraction and Mechanomyography

1
Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies, University “Federico II” of Naples, Via Claudio, 21-80125 Napoli, Italy
2
Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri s.p.a.—Società benefit, Via S. Maugeri, 4-27100 Pavia, Italy
3
School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK
4
The MARCS Institute, Western Sydney University, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia
5
Department of Industrial Engineering, University “Federico II” of Naples, Via Claudio, 21-80125 Napoli, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 July 2018 / Revised: 31 July 2018 / Accepted: 1 August 2018 / Published: 4 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

Measurement of muscle contraction is mainly achieved through electromyography (EMG) and is an area of interest for many biomedical applications, including prosthesis control and human machine interface. However, EMG has some drawbacks, and there are also alternative methods for measuring muscle activity, such as by monitoring the mechanical variations that occur during contraction. In this study, a new, simple, non-invasive sensor based on a force-sensitive resistor (FSR) which is able to measure muscle contraction is presented. The sensor, applied on the skin through a rigid dome, senses the mechanical force exerted by the underlying contracting muscles. Although FSR creep causes output drift, it was found that appropriate FSR conditioning reduces the drift by fixing the voltage across the FSR and provides voltage output proportional to force. In addition to the larger contraction signal, the sensor was able to detect the mechanomyogram (MMG), i.e., the little vibrations which occur during muscle contraction. The frequency response of the FSR sensor was found to be large enough to correctly measure the MMG. Simultaneous recordings from flexor carpi ulnaris showed a high correlation (Pearson’s r > 0.9) between the FSR output and the EMG linear envelope. Preliminary validation tests on healthy subjects showed the ability of the FSR sensor, used instead of the EMG, to proportionally control a hand prosthesis, achieving comparable performances. View Full-Text
Keywords: force sensitive resistor; muscle contraction; electromyography; mechanomyography; prosthesis control; human machine interface force sensitive resistor; muscle contraction; electromyography; mechanomyography; prosthesis control; human machine interface
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Esposito, D.; Andreozzi, E.; Fratini, A.; Gargiulo, G.D.; Savino, S.; Niola, V.; Bifulco, P. A Piezoresistive Sensor to Measure Muscle Contraction and Mechanomyography. Sensors 2018, 18, 2553.

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