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Open AccessReview

Ultrasound as a Tool to Study Muscle–Tendon Functions during Locomotion: A Systematic Review of Applications

1
Institute of Health Care Engineering with European Testing Center of Medical Devices, Graz University of Technology, Stremayrgasse 16/II, 8010 Graz, Austria
2
Institute of Sport Science, University of Graz, Mozartgasse 14, 8010 Graz, Austria
3
Integrated Systems Laboratory, ETH Zürich, Gloriastrasse 35, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
4
Electrical, Electronic and Information Engineering - DEI, Università di Bologna, Viale del Risorgimento 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy
5
Department for Companion Animals and Horses, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Veterinärplatz 1, 1210 Wien, Austria
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sensors 2019, 19(19), 4316; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19194316
Received: 31 July 2019 / Revised: 17 September 2019 / Accepted: 2 October 2019 / Published: 5 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Biomechanics Application)
Movement science investigating muscle and tendon functions during locomotion utilizes commercial ultrasound imagers built for medical applications. These limit biomechanics research due to their form factor, range of view, and spatio-temporal resolution. This review systematically investigates the technical aspects of applying ultrasound as a research tool to investigate human and animal locomotion. It provides an overview on the ultrasound systems used and of their operating parameters. We present measured fascicle velocities and discuss the results with respect to operating frame rates during recording. Furthermore, we derive why muscle and tendon functions should be recorded with a frame rate of at least 150 Hz and a range of view of 250 mm. Moreover, we analyze why and how the development of better ultrasound observation devices at the hierarchical level of muscles and tendons can support biomechanics research. Additionally, we present recent technological advances and their possible application. We provide a list of recommendations for the development of a more advanced ultrasound sensor system class targeting biomechanical applications. Looking to the future, mobile, ultrafast ultrasound hardware technologies create immense opportunities to expand the existing knowledge of human and animal movement. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrasound; system design; form factor; range of view; frame rate; in vivo; biomonitoring; human and animal locomotion; muscle; tendon; fascicle; velocity ultrasound; system design; form factor; range of view; frame rate; in vivo; biomonitoring; human and animal locomotion; muscle; tendon; fascicle; velocity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Leitner, C.; Hager, P.A.; Penasso, H.; Tilp, M.; Benini, L.; Peham, C.; Baumgartner, C. Ultrasound as a Tool to Study Muscle–Tendon Functions during Locomotion: A Systematic Review of Applications. Sensors 2019, 19, 4316.

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