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Med Biol Eng Comput. 2004 Jul;42(4):455-66.

Sixty-four channel wearable acquisition system for long-term surface electromyogram recording with electrode arrays.

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Laboratorio di Ingegneria del Sistema Neuromuscolare, Centro di Bioingegneria, Dip. di Elettronica, Politecnico di Torino, Italy.


The use of mono- and bi-dimensional electromyogram (EMG) electrode arrays for the assessment of the neuromuscular system can provide an insight into muscle physiology not achieved with classical bipolar surface EMG. Among the advantages of multichannel EMG detection, there is a) the possibility of estimating muscle fibre conduction velocity, even during motor tasks, and b) the possibility to increase the number of detection points on a muscle, improving the performance of pattern-based EMG decomposition methods. For these reasons, the development and use of multichannel surface EMG devices and techniques were chosen as the primary goals within the European RTD Project 'Neuromuscular assessment in the elderly worker' (NEW). The specific requirements of Project NEW called for the availability of a user-friendly, small-sized EMG acquisition system for field use, suitable for multichannel EMG recording using electrode arrays from one or more muscles. A market survey established that none of the commercially available EMG acquisition systems featured all the desired specifications, nor could they be easily adapted for specific use. The paper describes the design of an innovative acquisition system for long-term multichannel EMG recording fulfilling these requirements and comprising adhesive electrode arrays for artifact-free EMG acquisition during work activity and a portable, user-friendly, battery-powered acquisition system for multichannel EMG recording and storage on a removable PCMCIA card. The system has been used extensively within Project NEW for laboratory and field tests and can find applications in other fields of basic and applied research, including ergonomics, occupational and sports medicine.

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