Stretchable Electrode Arrays for Stimulating and Measuring Electromyographic Activity

Stretchable Electrode Arrays for Stimulating and Measuring Electromyographic Activity

Myoelectric interfaces stimulate and measure the electrical activity of muscle, and may be used to
return mobility to the disabled, and study the recruitmentof muscles/reflexes. An individual
muscle may be composed of multiple neuromuscular compartments, which can differ in both their
muscle fiber composition and the torque they exert on thetendon. Thus, for a myoelectric
interface to effectively control and observe electromyographic (EMG) activity, the interface
muststimulate/measure EMG activity across the entirety ofthe muscle, match the muscle’s resolution
of recruitment, and measure EMG activity with a high si
gnal-to-noise ratio.

Currently, suchinterfaces are limited in their signal fidelity, spatial resolution, and/or interfacial area.
Intramuscular interfaces composed of stiff materialscan harm tissue and are restricted theirapplications;
and transcutaneous interfaces possess poor spatial resolution and signal fidelity dueto their physical separation
from the muscle tissue. Our research group has developed stretchableelectrode array technologies to
stimulate and measure EMG activity across a large interfacialarea, while stretching with contracting muscle.

Our stretchable microneedle electrode array(sMEA) interfaces intramuscularly to stimulate and me
asure EMG activity with high signalfidelity and spatial resolution; and our epimysial microelectrode array
was developed to provide similar functionality less invasively. At present, we are assessing the capability of these technologiesto measure the regional activity of muscle (Fig) and selectively
excite the tissue. Ultimately, our stretchable electrode array technologies may be used to facilitate the development.
Gareth Research Pic