Automated semi-real time detection of muscle activity with ultrasound imaging

Sosnowska, A., Vuckovic, A. and Gollee, H. (2021) Automated semi-real time detection of muscle activity with ultrasound imaging. Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing, 59(9), pp. 1961-1971. (doi: 10.1007/s11517-021-02407-w)

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Ultrasound imaging (USI) biofeedback is a useful therapeutic tool; however, it relies on qualitative assessment by a trained therapist, while existing automatic analysis techniques are computationally demanding. This study aims to present a computationally inexpensive algorithm based on the difference in pixel intensity between USI frames. During an offline experiment, where data was analyzed after the study, participants performed isometric contractions of the gastrocnemius medialis (GM) muscle, as executed (30% of maximum contraction) or attempted (low force contraction up to a point when the participant is aware of exerting force or contracting the muscle) movements, while USI, EMG, and force data were recorded. The algorithm achieved 99% agreement with EMG and force measurements for executed movements and 93% for attempted movements, with USI detecting 1.9% more contractions than the other methods. In the online study, participants performed GM muscle contractions at 10% and 30% of maximum contraction, while the algorithm provided visual feedback proportional to the muscle activity (based on USI recordings during the maximum contraction) in less than 3 s following each contraction. We show that the participants reached the target consistently, learning to perform precise contractions. The algorithm is reliable and computationally very efficient, allowing real-time applications on standard computing hardware. It is a suitable method for automated detection, quantification of muscle contraction, and to provide biofeedback which can be used for training of targeted muscles, making it suitable for rehabilitation.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gollee, Dr Henrik and Sosnowska, Anna and Vuckovic, Dr Aleksandra
Authors: Sosnowska, A., Vuckovic, A., and Gollee, H.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing
ISSN (Online):1741-0444
Published Online:16 August 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing 59(9): 1961-1971
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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