Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (Adapted from the Applicant's Abstract): Currently, no
practical method exists for direct measurement of force production from
individual muscles during dynamic human movement. Manual muscle tests do
not give an accurate estimate of muscle strength which can predict the
ability to walk. Measurements of joint torque are inadequate because
several muscles often contribute to torque development. Implantation of a
buckle transducer on a tendon is highly invasive and impractical for regular
use. The integrated electromyogram is customarily used to provide
quantification of muscle contraction. However, the problem remains that the
electromyographic activity cannot provide a quantitative measure of muscle
tension under dynamic conditions. An alternative, measurable parameter
related to muscle force is intramuscular pressure. Commercially available
intramuscular pressure transducers are too large for optimum comfort.
Microsensor technology is now available to construct transducers that are
approximately the same size as the fine wires used for electromyographic

The overall objective of this project is to develop and test a fiber optic
microsensor that can be used for routing, clinical measurement of muscle
function. The specific aims of this study are a) to continue development of
a fiber optic microsensor to measure intramuscular pressure, b) to determine
the relationships between intramuscular pressure, muscle sarcomere length,
and muscle tension under isometric and dynamic conditions for normal muscle
in an animal model, and c) to develop a mathematical model of intramuscular
pressure in order to establish a theoretical basis for understanding the
experimental measurements.

The hypothesis examined by this study is that intramuscular pressure is
directly related to two independent phenomena; namely, passive elongation of
muscle fibers and active force generation by muscle fibers. Successful
development of this microsensor will result in a powerful new tool for
quantifying muscle function. This device will be useful in offering a
better representation of muscle tension under dynamic conditions. It will
become an essential tool in clinical gait analysis aimed at improving
mobility of disabled patients with neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral
palsy, muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, head
injury, spinal cord injury, and poliomyelitis. The ultimate goal is to use
this microsensor for clinical decision making to improve the mobility of
disabled individuals.
Effective start/end date5/1/946/30/16


  • Medicine(all)