Project: Patch-like sensor system for skeletal muscle and motion monitoring

THIS PROJECT WILL DEVELOP NEW POSSIBILITIES OF MEASURING SIMULTANEOUSLY MECHANICAL AND ELECTROPHYSIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF SKELETAL MUSCLES AS WELL AS ELEMENTS OF THE HUMAN MOTION DYNAMICS_x000D__x000D_The ideal method for measuring skeletal muscle contraction properties should have the following characteristics:_x000D_- precise and repeatable measurement of mechanical (length-force relation, stretch-shortening cycle) properties of skeletal muscle_x000D_- precise and repeatable measurement of skeletal muscle electrophysiological properties (recording of muscle fiber action potentials, evoked or spontaneous) _x000D_- selective and non-invasive/unobtrusive approach _x000D_- possibility to measure muscle properties in static and dynamic conditions_x000D_- simple and short pre-measurement procedure_x000D_- mobility (small size) and data acquisition during unimpeded natural movement_x000D_- near to the real-time monitoring and processing of muscle contractile properties_x000D_- relatively low-cost equipment and compatibility with contemporary computer and mobile technologies _x000D__x000D_Measuring methods for muscle force and viscoelastic properties represent a significant technical problem. None of the existing measuring methods feature a dominant advantage that would make it generally applicable and comply with the majority of previously described conditions._x000D__x000D_The EMG (a recording of muscle fiber electrical potentials) is a well established measuring method with many applications in medicine and physiology. Mechanomyography is a relatively new methodology with some very successful applications, especially in sports and applied physiology. For measuring static and dynamic muscle force special isometric and isokinetic devices are used. In our project, we would like to utilize the advantages of all mentioned methods and overcome their disadvantages. Our new sensor system combines a novel MC (muscle contraction) sensor with a joint angular sensor (without mechanical parts) , and with a 3D accelerometer and EMG sensor utilizing state-of-the-art miniaturization and wireless communication technology._x000D__x000D_IT WILL ADVANCE CURRENT METHODOLOGY FOR SKELETAL MUSCLE DIAGNOSTICS_x000D__x000D_In particular the development of paraclinical methods (MRI, diagnostic ultrasound) in the last 20 years has led to better diagnostic of changes in skeletal muscle structure. Indeed, enhanced understanding of skeletal muscle is an essential functional aspect. Thus, the introduction of new sensor systems that allows simultaneous measurement of muscle tension and length in different conditions (static, dynamic, voluntary, in situ, during normal motion) brings new quality of skeletal muscles diagnostics._x000D__x000D_With this technology near-to-real-time applications like biofeedback and real-time monitoring of physiological and pathological movement patterns may be possible._x000D__x000D_PRODUCTS AND RESULTS OF THE PROJECT CAN BE APPLIED IN DIFFERENT FIELDS: PHYSIOLOGY, MEDICINE, HEALTH AND SPORTS_x000D__x000D_Our multi-sensor technology will also allow us to monitor the direct connection between muscle function and movement in field conditions, over a longer time period. Potentially, if required, with a real-time connection to the web / internet applications._x000D__x000D_Simultaneous unobtrusive measurement of skeletal muscle mechanical and electrophysiological properties is a necessary framework for development of interpretative algorithms. Specific interpretative algorithms will allow different customized sensor systems to be used as measurement and diagnostic tools in physiology, medicine, health and sports. _x000D_Moreover, simultaneous unobtrusive monitoring of central and peripheral parts of the motor system function would allow better oversight and understanding of changes, that are consequences of muscle strains or muscular disease (as neuromuscular or musculoskeletal) and the changes that occur with ageing (sarcopenia). Our goal is to develop technology to make this possible. _x000D__x000D_Technologies required for the sensor's production are known and established. Miniaturization and integration of sensors are attainable technological challenges. Our understanding of human kinetics and muscle action based on experience and scientific knowledge is sufficient for preparation of sensor system application algorithms for the end-user, which will be simple to use._x000D_The consortium is formed by the CO participant TMG-BMC, a small company, specialized in muscle diagnostics and by CSEM, a research institute focused on wide spectrum of R&D fields. The participants together form a synergetic consortium, as each of them provides unique inputs, which will contribute to the success of the project. TMG-BMC has developed unique technologies and methodologies for muscle diagnostics: the well established TMG and the recently patented MC. TMG-BMC will provide extensive background to this project. CSEM has, based on a large number of highly educated experts, a strong background in the development and transfer of new technologies related to ambulatory multi-parameter physiological monitoring. _x000D_

Acronym SensMotion (Reference Number: 6868)
Duration 01/03/2012 - 28/02/2015
Project Topic The joined project of TMG-BMC and CSEM will result in wearable sensor system for selective diagnostics of skeletal muscles and motion monitoring. Utilizing patch-like sensor system and wireless communication, it will monitor muscle tension and electrical activity, joint angle and 3D acceleration.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The project has resulted in development of two new sensing technologies: MC (muscle contraction) sensor and joint-angle sensor (knee as demonstrator) combined in a fully functional prototype. The prototype is a wearable sensor system for selective diagnostics of skeletal muscles and motion monitoring as well as early screening of skeletal muscle pathological changes. Apart from monitoring of muscle tension and joint angle, wireless sensor enables also monitoring of electrical activity and 3D acceleration and as such brings new quality of skeletal muscles diagnostics. Apart from the hardware, we have developed also innovative algorithms and software which enables near-to-real time monitoring and bio-feedback training based on pattern recognition procedure. Field tests and research work during the project resulted in several innovative research studies based on this novel technology which have later resulted in scientific publications and enabled us to design innovative training and rehabilitation protocols for professional sports. From the market perspective this project enabled us to expand our market reach and increase our credibility.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 7

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
2 TMG-BMC d.o.o. DRUŽBA ZA BIOMEDICINSKI INŽENIRING Coordinator Slovenia
2 Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology Partner Switzerland