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Measuring muscle activity via
wearable EMG – is it possible?
Finally we are able to get data on
muscles, easily, and even in real-
time. This information provides us
the most comprehe...
How are we able to measure the engine, our muscles?
Electromyography
Our muscles generate small
electrical signals when
co...
What are the key components in terms of muscle function?
Muscles, are composed of
a mixture of different types
of muscle f...
How do these motor units work?
Motor units are recruited
according to “Size
Principle” or “Orderly
recruitment principle”....
The force in muscle is
increased both via temporal
and spatial recruitment. If
muscle need to create more
force:
More musc...
Light contraction
Strong contraction
Could we summarize this..?
EMG is about measuring
the electric activity of
muscles. T...
How have EMG been measured in practice?
Tradionally, tiny, needle-like
sensors are placed straight
into the muscle tissue ...
Can we measure EMG with wearables?
All the electronics, wiring
and sensors are seamlessly
integrated in high-quality
compr...
For what can we utilize this technology for?
field measurement
performance analysis
Sports & exercise
Fysio & rehabilitati...
The complete picture
better knowledge
better training
better performance
better results
Myontec is an innovator. It is an entrepreneurial company,
taking the invention of muscle measurement to
marketable produc...
Measuring muscle activity via wearable EMG – is it possible?
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Measuring muscle activity via wearable EMG – is it possible?

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Myontec is an innovator. It is an entrepreneurial company, taking the invention of muscle measurement to marketable products and applications by integrating existing data and adding unique information to it, thereby creating an additional dimension to better understand and manage the human body & performance.

In this case study, we explain the vision behind our clothing embedded technology and provide answers to such questions as what is human machine and how can we enhance our performance by measuring the engine of our body, our muscles?

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Measuring muscle activity via wearable EMG – is it possible?

  1. 1. Measuring muscle activity via wearable EMG – is it possible?
  2. 2. Finally we are able to get data on muscles, easily, and even in real- time. This information provides us the most comprehensive insight in human performance thus far. Heart can be seen as a fuel pump of the human machine, delivering fuel to operating engine. It plays also major part in exhaust system transporting away the metabolic waste. Our muscles, the engine, produce the power. Thus, the neouromuscular system - together with our joints, bones and ligaments – is the powertrain of the human machine, being responsible of power production, transmission & movement control. Do we understand the “human machine”?
  3. 3. How are we able to measure the engine, our muscles? Electromyography Our muscles generate small electrical signals when contracting them. These signals can be detected using specific sensors and measurement devices. The technique of measuring this electrical activity is called electromyography, EMG. Thus, by using EMG, we are able to analyze the function and performance of our muscular system, or to be precise, our neuromuscular system. Signal = Volts (A-B) muscle cell (muscle fiber) Cell membrane When muscle contracts, negative voltage, or action potential, travels along the cell membrane. This can be detected and measured.
  4. 4. What are the key components in terms of muscle function? Muscles, are composed of a mixture of different types of muscle fibers (or cells). There are two types of muscle fibers: slow (type I) and fast type (IIa, IIb, IIx) of muscle fibers. Each muscle is innervated by several α-motor neurons. These neurons convey electrical signals from the central nervous system to muscle. An α-motor neuron and all the muscle fibers it innervates forms muscle’s smallest functional unit, called motor unit (MU). When a motor unit is activated, all of its fibers contract.
  5. 5. How do these motor units work? Motor units are recruited according to “Size Principle” or “Orderly recruitment principle”. This means that  smaller loads requiring, low-force, fatigue-resistant, slow twitch MUs (i.e., slow twitch fibers) are activated first. These units are also smaller in size.  fast twitch, high-force, units with higher activation thresholds will follow when higher force is needed. These MUs are also bigger in size. Motor unit recruitment: ”SIZE” OR ”ORDERLY PRINCIPLE” All muscle fibers in a motor unit are of the same fiber type.
  6. 6. The force in muscle is increased both via temporal and spatial recruitment. If muscle need to create more force: More muscle fibers in action = more force..? i) the same muscle fibers are stimulated more by the innervating α-motor neuron until the muscle twitches ”fuse”. I.e., same amount of MUs create greater force by firing more rapidly (temporal). ii) more new MUs are being recruited (spatial). This follows the orderly or the size principle, presented before. Force(%ofMVC)MUs MU activation
  7. 7. Light contraction Strong contraction Could we summarize this..? EMG is about measuring the electric activity of muscles. The level of this activity is determined by the motor units: the higher the load the higher is the firing rate of MUs and also more MUs are being recruited in order to create greater force. Or inversely and simplified: the stronger the muscle contraction, the greater is the electrical activity. This technique can be applied in many ways to evaluate the muscular work and function. EMG can be used, for example, to evaluate the muscle function, capacity, fatigue, force production, or to analyze activation patterns and biomechanics of human movement, or to detect problems, medical abnormalities or deviations of neuromuscular system.
  8. 8. How have EMG been measured in practice? Tradionally, tiny, needle-like sensors are placed straight into the muscle tissue to gain the muscle data. This method is still often used in clinical, diagnostic setups. For more practical cases, non-invasive surface-EMG is used. In this method, disposable electrodes are being glued on skin. Difficult and time-consuming preparation, and also issues with the reliability of the measurement procedure has hindered the applicability of EMG in habitual situations, especially during strenuous activities and exercises.
  9. 9. Can we measure EMG with wearables? All the electronics, wiring and sensors are seamlessly integrated in high-quality compression sportswear. Small, light-weight EMG unit with high frequency sampling rate, memory and wireless communication is being attached to the textile. PROS + no loose electrodes, snap connectors, or loose wires nor cables + easy & quick preparation: “gear up and go” + motion artefact minimized + extremely good signal quality even during the most extreme and strenuous exercises + sensoring bigger area offers better reproducibility (reliability, stability), especially during exercises + fully machine washable + price, simplicity, ease-of-use CONS - sensoring bigger area causes cross-talk & signal cancellation, leading diagnostic insensitivity in single motor unit level. Myontec’s wearable system offers valid and reliable EMG data added with ease-of-use, convenience, and applicability in the field.
  10. 10. For what can we utilize this technology for? field measurement performance analysis Sports & exercise Fysio & rehabilitation Health & wellbeing Occupational health & ergonomics Medical solutions Entertainment, gaming Possibilities for utilizing this technology in different areas are almost endless. biofeedback injury prevention problem detection training periodization screening technique analysis strain analysis biomechanics analysis diagnostics education
  11. 11. The complete picture better knowledge better training better performance better results
  12. 12. Myontec is an innovator. It is an entrepreneurial company, taking the invention of muscle measurement to marketable products and applications by integrating existing data and adding unique information to it thereby creating an additional dimension to better understand and manage the human body & perfromance. “ ” Want to know more: www.myontec.com

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