NASA 1996 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER : 96-1 16.04-0599

PROJECT TITLE : SURFACE EMG SYSTEM FOR USE IN LONG-TERM VIGOROUS ACTIVITIES

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

It is proposed to develop a robust system which will detect and record the electromyographic (EMG) signal from contracting muscles. The system will be portable and be able to detect the EMG signal during vigorous contractions for up to 12 hours continuously. Over the past 20 years we have developed a novel high-performance that is commercially available. However, like all other electrodes, the fidelity of the detected signal is better when the muscle contractions are isometric. During vigorous activity, the movement of the skin with respect to the electrode detection surfaces and the accumulation of sweat generate signals which contaminate the EMG signal. The electrode- skin interface is the limiting factor in modern day EMG equipment. No significant advancement has occurred in this area for the past two decades.

Phase I will focus on the development and systematic testing of the interface. An easy-to-apply, effective electrode/skin interface would enable the uncontaminated detection of EMG signals during dynamic contractions such as those which occur during ground-based and in-flight measurements. The ability to make such recordings would enable novel experiments for investigating the effect of microgravity on muscle performance and for developing countermeasures. Phase II would focus on the development and testing of the complete EMG system, as well as its commercialization.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
The combination of the proposed electrode/skin interface with the high performance electrode already developed would find use in Rehabilitation, Monitoring for work place injury prevention, Sports Medicine, Ergonomics, Myoelectric Prosthetics, Exercise training, and Motion studies.
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Rahul Patel
DelSys Inc.
P.O. Box 15734
Boston, MA 02215
NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

DelSys Inc.
P.O. Box 15734
Boston, MA 0221